Danish wind giant Vestas is riding on two recent developments in the South American wind energy market.
The company has started construction on a fully owned 100-megawatt wind power project in the Limari province of northern Chile. It also received an order for a total of 39.6 MW of turbines for the La F’e-San Martin wind project in Nicaragua.
Vestas acquired full ownership of the Talinay Oriente Wind Power Plant project in Chile from a local developer.
Construction of Talinay Oriente is expected to be done by the first quarter of 2012. Upon completion, the project will be the largest wind power plant in the country, almost doubling Chile’s wind power capacity.
In Nicaragua, Blue Power & Energy S.A., a developer of wind power projects, placed an order for 22 units of V90-1.8 MW turbines for the La F’e-San Martin project.
Delivery of the first turbine is expected to start this year, with the project planned to be commercially operational in the first half of 2012. The project will produce approximately 150 gigawatt hours annually.
The contract includes supply and commissioning of the turbines, monitoring systems and a five-year service and maintenance agreement.
The Latin American countries of South and Central America are an important market region for Vestas.
As of December 2010, the company delivered a total of 590 MW worth of wind turbines in the region. Since January this year, the company has signed orders for 472 MW of new capacity.
According to the Global Wind Energy Council, Chile’s wind energy potential is around 40 GW and as of 2010 had an installed capacity of 171.6 MW.
Nicaragua, on the other hand, had an installed capacity of 40 MW in 2009. A study by the United Nations Environment Program in 2005 found that Nicaragua has a wind energy potential of 40,000 MW, roughly the equivalent of 40 nuclear power plants.