El Arrayán Wind Farm, Chile
The 115MW El Arrayán wind power plant will be the largest wind energy facility in Chile once complete. Located about 400km north of Santiago in the coastal zone of Ovalle, the project is being developed by Parque Eolico El Arrayan, a joint venture between Pattern Energy, AEI and Antofagasta Minerals.
Construction works started in May 2012 with installation of the turbines scheduled for mid-2013. The project is expected to create 175 to 200 jobs during construction.
The wind farm will generate power equivalent to the electricity needs of around 200,000 local homes, when it starts commercial operation in early 2014.
The renewable power project will offset the emission of around 320 million tonnes of CO2, while helping to meet the Chile's goal of producing 20% of its energy from non-conventional renewable sources by 2020.
Financing for the El Arrayán wind project
The finance for the $245m wind farm was secured in May 2012. Eksport Kredit Fonden, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Credit Agricole, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, and local bank Corpbanca are providing funds for the project.
El Arrayán wind farm make up
In April 2010 Bacardi Corporation, part of the Bacardi group of companies, inaugurated its 500MW wind power project in Puerto Rico.
Located in the farmlands of El Arrayán and El Sauce, the wind power plant will utilise the coastal wind resource of the region.
The farm will be installed with 50 2.3MW turbines mounted on 80m-high towers. There will also be a control and maintenance building for the plant.
The three-bladed wind turbines will have a rotor diameter of 101m and blade length of 49m. The swept area of each turbine is 8011.8m2. The rotor speed will vary from 6rpm to 16rpm. The power output of the rotor will be guided by pitch regulation.
Each turbine is equipped with hydraulic disc brake, a 2,300kW asynchronous generator, and a three-stage planetary / helical gear box.
The turbines for the wind farm will be manufactured at Siemens' facility in the US. Siemens will install and commission the wind turbines, as well as provide service and maintenance for five years.
Grid connection and distribution
Power from the aero generators of the turbines will pass through in-tower wires and will be connected with the 35kV/0.690kV power transformer located on ground near tower foundation. It will then be transmitted through 35kV line before it is stepped up at the 220kV/ 35kV El Arrayán substation.
A 220kV transmission line from the plant's substation and a new lift substation for connection to the electricity grid will also be built as part of the El Arrayán wind power project.
The power output of the El Arrayán wind farm will be fed into the national power grid Sistema Interconectado Central (SIC).
In November 2011, the JV signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with Minera Los Pelambres, a subsidiary of Antofagasta Minerals, for the sale of power generated by the wind farm.
Contractors involved with the El Arrayán wind project
Skanska was awarded the construction contract worth $76m for the wind farm in March 2012. The scope of the contract includes planning, design, procurement and construction of roads, foundations, buildings, and electrical infrastructure, including two substations and a 220kV transmission line.
Siemens received a order for the supply of wind turbines in May 2012. It is the first Chilean wind turbines order for Siemens.