Wind Power Working Group, an initiative that will boost local development

Santiago, December 14, 2016

The constitution of the Wind Power Working Group was signed in Chañaral de Aceituno, in the Municipality of Freirina, in the presence of regional authorities such as the Mayor of Atacama Region Mr. Miguel Vargas, the Governor of the Huasco Province Ms. Alexandra Nuñez and the Mayor of Freirina, Mr. Cesar Orellana.

The Wind Power Working Group is a social, private and public initiative that convenes various social organizations in Freirina, Latin American Power (LAP), Aela Energía and Ibereólica, in addition to public services, such as the Municipality of Freirina and the Energy Seremi.

The first milestone of this Wind Power Working Group is the signature and acceptance of the Protocol of Understanding between generators in which they agree on a clear framework for interaction, based on their experiences and corporate policies regarding community outreach, complemented by the principles and criteria of the Participation Standards Guide for the development of energy projects, promoted by the Ministry of Energy. This guide supports work between projects holders and neighboring communities.

Miguel Vargas, Intendant of Atacama stated “the region is progressing faster than expected in a process of diversification of our economy. We are turning into a clean, photovoltaic and wind energy generating region, and the Freirina Municipality is also becoming the most important city in Chile in terms of wind power generation. With all the projects that are about to commence, and some already under construction, we expect to generate about 800 MW”.

Regarding the signing of the Protocol, the region’s premier authority noted “we want investment initiatives to also have an impact on the community, we want people to feel them as their own, and so community liaison is very important; that is what we want to express in the framework of this significant joint work agreement with the municipality, the community and major wind power generators.” Today we signed a protocol that will lead us to initiate a work plan that must translate into concrete actions, because it is important for us as a Government to increase the clean energy share in our energy matrix, but it is also important to have an impact in the development of communities”.

"We are very pleased to have signed this agreement since it will coordinate and boost the plans of each company installing wind farms in the region, so that it will result in an absolute benefit for the communities in the area"

José Luis Muñoz, General Manager of Sarco Wind Farm

The projects San Juan of LAP, Sarco Wind Farm of Aela Energia and Cabo Leones I, II and III of Ibereólica – located in the Municipality of Freirina – will make up the largest wind farm complex in the country, with nearly 810 MW of rated capacity.

The Wind Working Group aims to generate the necessary conditions to align and complement local development plans carried out by the wind projects in the communities of their area of influence, i.e., La Reina, Los Burros, Chañaral de Aceituno, Carrizalillo, Chiapasse Tatara, Incahuasi and Punta Colorada, facilitating and incorporating local viewpoints and corporate policies.

Freirina’s Mayor César Orellana remarked that the signing of the Protocol is historic “a very important milestone. These neighbors have come to the municipality to generate clean energy, and we appreciate that they chose the Freirina municipality, but we also need to see how they will relate with the communities. We have had a very good experience with the San Juan Wind Farm, and we would like to replicate this experience with the wind farms that are being installed, and so the municipality values this Working Group where we hope to talk, discuss and plan, to see how we can contribute to the enhancement of our area”.

José Luis Muñoz, General Manager of Sarco Wind Farm said “we are very pleased to have signed this agreement since it will coordinate and boost the plans of each company installing wind farms in the region, so that it will result in an absolute benefit for the communities in the area”.