Engie kicks off work on Peru’s largest wind farm

French developer’s 260MW Punta Lomitas will increase Peru’s total wind capacity to more than 700MW once online in 2023

Engie is active in other South American markets and completed the 361MW Campo Largo 2 wind farm in Brazil in September

French energy firm Engie will begin construction of Peru’s largest wind farm in the coming weeks, the company has announced.

The 260MW Punta Lomitas project will comprise 50 SG 5.0-145 turbines, each of which will provide 5-5.25MW.

“This is a flagship project for us, which will push Engie further down the road of carbon neutrality,” said Cesar Cornejo, vice president of operations and projects at Engie Energia Peru.

Once online, Punta Lomitas will raise Peru’s total installed wind capacity to more than 700MW, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly.

The wind farm is part of a 1GW-plus portfolio of Peruvian renewable energy projects Engie is developing. The company is also in the process of dismantling two thermoelectric plants in the southern port of Ilo.

Engie began moving equipment to the Punta Lomitas site in September for civil works to take place ahead of full construction start. The turbines are due to arrive on site during the first quarter of next year.

"Construction will begin in the coming months and [we aim] to achieve commercial operation during the first half of 2023," explained Cornejo.

As well as the turbines, mounted on 90-meter-high towers, the project also includes two substations and a 60 kilometre transmission line which will connect the wind farm to Peru’s national power grid. The capital investment is estimated at $300 million (€260 million).

At its peak, the wind farm’s construction will see 1,000 people employed. All non-skilled workers will be recruited from the local area in the district of Ocucaje in the Department of Ica.

Although the Ministry of Energy and Mines granted a concession for the project in March this year, development has been affected by restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Engie said.