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Chile’s largest wind project begins construction

Construction has begun for Chile's largest wind project, the 115-megawatt El Arrayan, after the wind farm's completion of $245 million in financing from several international companies.

Located 400 kilometers north of the capital of Santiago, the El Arrayan project will harness the strong coastal winds in the area to provide enough energy to serve up to 200,000 local homes.

Parque Eolico El Arrayan, a partnership between energy companies AEI and Pattern Energy Group LP along with mining company Antofagasta Minerals S.A., owns the project and will be its operator.

El Arrayan is expected to achieve commercial operation in early 2014. Parque Eolico has entered a 20-year power purchase agreement with Minera Los Pelambres for the sale of energy to be produced.

Funding commitments for the project were arranged by Denmark's export credit agency Export Kredit Fonden through its ELO program, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Credit Agricole. Chile's Corpbanca provided the VAT facility.

Chile has set a goal to generate 20 percent of its energy from nonconventional renewable resources by 2020. The El Arrayan project is expected to contribute to that goal as well as offset more than 300,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

The project is expected to create about 200 construction jobs with up to 15 permanent positions once fully operational. – EcoSeed Staff

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