A ten turbine wind farm has been inaugurated near Comodoro Rivadavia, a city in the south of Argentina. With 6.5 MW of total capacity, the "Antonio Moran" wind farm is the largest wind farm in South America, according to the COMTEX Newswire. It consists of eight 750 kW Danish Micon machines, specially adapted to the area's high wind speeds, and two Micon 250 kW turbines, which have been operating at the location since 1994. NEG Micon has developed the project for the local utility, the Sociedad Cooperativa Popular Ltda De Comodoro Rivadavia (SCPL) (Windpower Monthly, July 1997). The wind farm makes up 13% of the total capacity of the power plant owned by SCPL, whose officials estimate the wind generation will save 6.5 million cubic meters of natural gas and 5500 tons of oil a year. The Antonio Moran project adds to three megawatts of installed wind in Argentina, mostly situated in small clusters. By next August, after another Micon 750 kW turbine is expected to be operational for the Cooperativa de Darragueira, the country will have almost 10 MW of installed wind capacity, the most in any South American country, according to wind energy consultant Fernando Braconi from Buenos Aires. Argentina is projected to see some 400 MW in installed wind capacity by the year 2005 -- a figure some observers say may be overly optimistic.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol