Construction of 40 MW wind project on shore of Cocibolca lake

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Nicaragua is set to have its first large scale wind plant and one of the largest in Latin America located on the shore of the giant Cocibolca lake, which spans over 8000 square kilometres. India's Suzlon is supplying its 2.1 MW machines for the project, which were recently delivered. With foundations currently underway, the 39.9 MW Amayo wind plant is expected online in October or November. The sponsor for the $95 million project is Consorcio Eólico Amayo SA. Regional development bank Central American Bank for Economic Integration is lending 75% of the money with the 25% equity portion coming from two members of the sponsor consortium, Centrans Energy Services from Guatemala and Arctas Capital Group, an American energy investment specialist. The project has been eight years in the works and finally moved ahead thanks to the right pricing environment, improved regulations and government support, says Sean Porter, construction manager for Consorcio Eólico Amayo. The project has a 15 year power purchase agreement with local distributors Disnorte and Dissur. "The government is supporting the project due to the current energy crisis in Nicaragua," says Porter, noting high oil prices also make renewable projects more appealing. The other member of the sponsoring consortium is Energia Eolica de Nicaragua. Nicaragua has just 0.5 MW of wind power capacity online today in mainly off-grid, single turbine installations on the Caribbean coast.

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