AES faces environmental fines at new onshore wind farm in Chile

Developer found guilty of not shielding local communities from impacts of construction work at 68MW wind farm

AES Andes is now “studying the charges to define what actions to take”
AES Andes is now “studying the charges to define what actions to take”

AES Andes is facing fines worth up to $5 million after regulators detected breaches of the environmental licence for its 68MW Mesamávida Mesamávida (68MW) OnshoreLos Ángeles, Bío Bío Region, Chile, Central & South America Click to see full details wind farm in southern Chile.

According to a statement, environmental regulator SMA said that the company had failed to properly implement measures designed to shield local communities from the impact of the construction work, including the repairs to a local road and restricting activities during agreed working hours.

On a lesser charge, the company had also failed to identify receptors closest to two of the turbines and the electrical substation.

The breaches were detected following complaints from local residents.

Located near the southern city of Los Angeles, the Mesamavida wind farm is due to begin commercial operations later this year. It consists of 16 turbines. AES was granted a licence to install 43 turbines at the site in 2015.

Following the charges, AES now has ten working days to present a compliance programme to remedy the detected breaches or 15 working days to file an administrative appeal.

A spokeswoman for the company told Windpower Monthly that the company is “studying the charges to define what actions to take”.

“Renewable energy projects, such as wind farms, undoubtedly help the objective of reducing carbon emissions in the country, in line with climate change objectives. However, these projects must be carried out following the measures established in their environmental permits, and above all, respecting the surrounding communities,” said SMA head Emanuel Ibarra.

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