Construction has started in Costa Rica's Guanacaste province of a 20 MW wind farm owned by state owned integrated power company Instituto Costarricence de Electricidad (ICE). Dutch utility Essent will provide 30 Vestas 650 kW turbines and will undertake operations and maintenance (O&M) for five years from the estimated February 2002 operations start date, says ICE projects director Salvador Lopez. Essent will rent the site from ICE, which will pay for O&M services in an agreement independent of the power it buys from the project, Lopez says. He adds that total project investment is some $18 million. Of this, acquisition of the turbines reportedly accounted for $13.6 million. The project will bring installed wind power in Costa Rica up to around 70 MW, out of a total installed capacity of 1680 MW. Maximum demand is, however, only 1200 MW, and surpluses are sold to neighbours Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.