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Three major power projects have been announced in Argentina, one of the most promising markets anywhere for renewables. A World Bank financed photovoltaic project, a 15 year purchase contract for wind-diesel plants, and final government approval for a 160 MW gas fired plant are in the works.

New World Power Corp (NWP) won a $2.6 million photovoltaic contract for a World Bank funded project to install PV equipment in 183 schools in Santa Fe province. The contract was awarded to a joint venture of NWP and Solartec, SA, which is owned 51% by New World. Last month, construction was expected to start immediately, for completion by March 1996.

NWP has also signed a 15 year power purchase contract with Energia Rio Negro Sociedad del Estado (ERN), a utility in the province of Rio Negro, to finance a series of wind-diesel generating plants to provide day-round power for 11 off-grid villages. The plants will replace diesel systems. NWP will finance, build and own the integrated facilities through its subsidiary, New World Village Power. ERN will distribute the power and will provide fuel and servicing. The villages' 1994 consumption, priced at $0.0285/kWh will be the minimum level guaranteed by the utility, says NWP. Any excess would be purchased for $0.14/kWh. Implementation of the contract, announced on February 23, is subject to a two month performance test of a 50 kW prototype plant at El Cuy, one of the villages. The plant is to be on line in May and New World hopes to complete the other plants by the end of 1995.

xIn a third agreement, Merrill International has final government approval for its second project in Argentina, a 160 MW gas-fired plant to sell power to the national utility. It will be owned by Ave Fenix Energia SA, a company formed by Merrill, of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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