Acciona to build 45 MW wind farm in Chile

Chile's Atacama Desert may be the country's solar Mecca, but when it comes to wind energy, central-northern Coquimbo region (IV) is king.

Acciona's 45 MW Punta Palmeras wind project is set to begin injecting power into the central SIC grid in December, an energy ministry release said, making it Coquimbo's ninth wind farm.

The $100 million project in the coastal community of Canela consists of 15 wind turbines with capacity of 3 MW each.

The addition of Punta Palmeras will bring Coquimbo's total installed wind capacity to 552 MW, the statement said, or enough to power about 700,000 homes.

Coquimbo region boasts 80 percent of Chile's installed wind power capacity.

Continued wind energy growth in the region will go hand-in-hand with the 2x500 kV Cardones-Polpaico trunk line expansion, regional energy minister Marcelo Salazar was quoted as saying.

The transmission project, which is awaiting environmental approval, consists of a high-tension line spanning 467 miles from Copiapó in the north to capital Santiago.

The Punta Palmeras announcement follows the official opening this month of the 110 MW Los Cururos wind farm in Coquimbo and the startup of construction of Enel Green Power's 19 MW Lalackama II PV solar plant in northern Antofagasta region (II).

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