A new consortium has emerged aiming to produce green hydrogen by exploiting the wind potential of Chilean Patagonia.
Engineering firm Arcadis is working with UK-based Transitional Energy Group (TEG) and Chile’s Huara Energy to develop the Gente Grande project, which includes a green hydrogen and ammonia facility, port installations, a desalination plant, and a wind farm with an eventual capacity of about 3GW.
With capital investment estimated at more than $500 million in its early stage, an initial phase of the wind farm would include more than 300 turbines especially designed to handle the wind conditions in the Tierra del Fuego, where capacity factors can exceed 50%.
TEG believes total investment could eventually reach $8 billion while the installed wind capacity could hit 3GW.
Supplying ammonia to markets in Latin America, Europe and Asia, the project could enter commercial operations within five years.
The venture is just the latest to target the growing demand for green hydrogen by exploiting southern Chile’s huge potential for wind farms.
Enel, Porsche and Siemens have already begun work on a pilot plant to produce synthetic fuels for European markets. Total Eren is planning to install 10GW of wind energy capacity to support ammonia production. And Denmark’s Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners is supporting another project.
Arcadis Chile’s sustainability leader Vilma Perez added that the company is examining the “socio-environmental and strategic feasibility of Gente Grande, identifying the risks, carrying out characterisations and base analysis of the elements of the environment, in order to define and develop the plan for environmental permits necessary to enable the project within the framework of the regulatory requirements of Chile”.
Arcadis added that it is developing more than 26 green hydrogen projects around the world, including generation, storage, and distribution projects as well as ventures to produce the gas using non-conventional sources of renewable energy, like wind and solar.