Energy firm Colbun has given the green light for construction to start at one of the largest wind farms in Latin America.
The 778MW Horizonte Horizonte (778MW) OnshoreTaltal, Antofagasta, Chile, Central & South America Click to see full details project, located in Antofagasta, northern Chile, will consist of 140 of Enercon’s E-160 EP5 turbines with individual power ratings of 5.56MW.
Initial capital investment is estimated at US$850 million (€725 million). The wind farm is scheduled to begin commercial operations in 2024.
Between 600 and 1,200 workers are expected to be involved during the construction of Colbun’s Horizonte wind farm.
“The advance of renewable energy is unstoppable and this wind farm is evidence of this,” said Energy and Mines Minister Juan Carlos Jobet.
The board of the Santiago-listed generator approved the investment just days after regional authorities granted a license to the project.
Power produced by the wind farm will be supplied under a long term contract to the Zaldivar copper mine owned by Antofagasta Minerals, a major copper producer. Horizonte will also provide power to the grid.
Colbun chairman Hernan Rodriguez claimed that the project would make a significant contribution to decarbonising Chile’s power supplies, displacing the emissions of 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 annually, the equivalent to removing 300,000 cars from Chile’s roads or planting 2.4 million trees.
Chile has committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. Earlier this year, energy minister Jobet said that non-hydro renewable energy could represent 40% of the country’s power supplies by the end of the decade, up from around 20% currently.
The wind farm will be built on an 80km2 area of state land reserved for the development of renewable energy projects. Colbun won a tender for the concession of the land in 2017.
Last July, Engie announced that it will build two hybrid renewable energy complexes, combining wind, solar and energy storage, with 1.5GW of installed capacity on government lands following a similar tender.