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Chile to be site of Latin America's biggest wind farm

Jul 30, 2008 - EFE

Santiago - Spain's Grupo Enhol energy firm and Chilean developer Haciendas Talinay announced Wednesday that they plan to spend more than $1 billion building Latin America's largest wind farm in this Andean nation.

The energy generation park, which will have the capacity to produce 500 megawatts, will be built in three phases, the first of which will begin in 2009 and the last of which will be wrapped up in 2011, according to a communique released Wednesday by Enhol.

The park will have 243 generators which will be installed on approximately 10,000 hectares (almost 25,000 acres) near the city of Ovalle, 411 kilometers (255 miles) north of Santiago.

The project will also include the construction of subterranean and aerial transmission lines, an electricity substation, two posts where one can get a view of the complex and an open cultural center.

Project developers also have planned to promote the tourist attractions of Haciendas Talinay and the Fray Jorge National Park with the construction of viewing spots and exploration centers.

The wind farm will be developed by Eolica Talinay, a joint venture of Haciendas Talinay and Grupo Enhol, with the Spanish firm holding the majority stake.

Enhol director Alfonso Arroyo said that "this park represents a qualitative leap in the activities of the Group outside of Spain."

The Eolica Talinay wind park, in addition to increasing the supply of renewable energy in Chile, will provide local jobs and will generate revenue for the area.

"This project, like all those of Grupo Enhol, has as its objective generating clean energy, sustainable development and wealth in the area," Arroyo said.

It is estimated that the use of the energy generated at the new park will prevent the emission into the atmosphere of 19 million tons of carbon dioxide between 2010 and 2024.

Enhol is a Spanish group specializing in the development of renewable energy via the promotion, design, construction and operation of wind and solar complexes, and it has operations underway in 15 countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia.

The first wind farm built in Chile is located in Aysen, some 1,400 kilometers (868 miles) south of Santiago. It was set up by the firm Edelaysen and produces - in its first phase - 2 megawatts.

Meanwhile, in the northern municipality of Canela, Spain's Endesa Eco constructed another wind park with a capacity of 18.5 megawatts. EFE