Leading wind initiative in the Biobío Region: Cuel Wind Farm closes successful year of operation

Los Angeles, February 10, 2016

Over 400 visits, recognition from the authorities, inauguration of community projects and the announcement of a lookout point in the area, marked a good 2015 for Aela Energía’s wind farm.

The Cuel Wind Farm, located in the municipality of Los Angeles, in the Biobío Region, closed a great 2015, having achieved technical and social progress that benefit both the company and the nearby communities.

Among the most important initiatives developed since the wind farm started operations, are ongoing dialogue and joint work on initiatives aimed to contribute to local development. During 2015, Aela Energía contributed to the realization of neighborhood projects, through the Community Investment Fund (FIC), including the construction of a grass soccer field, road upgrading, reconstruction of the church in the area and the construction of a community center.

Leading wind initiative in the Biobío Region: Cuel Wind Farm closes successful year of operation

In addition, the Cuel Wind Farm has become a platform for environmental education and in this framework, it signed a collaboration agreement with the Los Angeles Municipality’s Education Department. During the past year, the Cuel Wind Farm received over 400 visitors, including social organizations, technology transfer groups, schools, higher education institutions, authorities and press teams.

The Wind Farm’s year culminated quite actively with a visit from the authorities. On 30 December, Aela’s General Manager, Sergio del Campo, welcomed the Biobío Intendant, Rodrigo Díaz and Energy Seremi, Carola Venegas, to Cuel, who toured the facilities to learn more about the operation of this clean energy generation center. After the visit, the Energy Seremi remarked that “this project combines the area’s traditional agricultural production with the possibility of generating non-conventional renewable energy (NCRE). Furthermore, thanks to this company’s participation in the most recent regulated customers’ power supply tender, we obtained the best electricity prices in the past five years”, noted the authority.

In addition, the Cuel Wind Farm has attracted media attention, among its press coverage, the French TV channel TV5 Monde included Cuel in its documentary “In search of the winds”, to be broadcast worldwide in late 2016, and which included locations in Spain, Ireland, Mexico and Chile.

Aela and its irruption in the industry

One of the key milestones of 2015 for the Non-Conventional Renewable Energy (NCRE) generating company was, no doubt, the success obtained in the most recent electricity tender called last October – which included a record of 38 vendors – where it was awarded 65% of regulated customers’ supply. After this historic achievement, recognized as such by the industry and authorities, the generator is ready to build two wind farms, which together will total a 265 MW generation capacity.

“After a very successful year, we will continue to work to develop NCRE’s in the country and achieve our goal of injecting 600 MW into the system. Moreover, in addition to contributing competitiveness to regulated customers’ supply, we are interested in offering solutions to free clients, with reliable supply and a flexible offer to meet their needs”, asserted Aela Energia Manager Sergio del Campo.

In addition to the tender results, the wind farm’s positive results are also worthy of note. This wind farm – composed of 22 wind turbines totaling an installed capacity of 33 MW – boasted the country’s best capacity factor in 2014, with 33.5%, and closed 2015 with 32.5% efficiency, ranking second in the total number of plants in operation throughout 2015.

About Cuel Wind Farm

The Cuel Wind Farm, owned by Aela Energía, started its commercial operation in February 2014. It is composed of 22 wind turbines, which add up to an installed capacity of 33 MW and represent a total investment of $75 million.

Cuel closed a successful 2015, completing its second year of operation with great efficiency reflected in reaching the second-best plant factor (32.5%) from the total number of operating plants in 2015, after ranking first during its initial year (33%).

The authorities and neighbors have also acknowledged the wind farm’s success in terms of its community outreach, through ongoing dialogue and joint work on initiatives aimed to contribute to local development. During 2015, Aela Energía contributed to the execution of neighborhood projects, through the Community Investment Fund (FIC), including the construction of a grass soccer field, road upgrading, reconstruction of the church in the area and the construction of a community center. In addition, the Cuel Wind Farm has become a platform for environmental education and in this framework it entered into a collaboration agreement with the Los Angeles Municipality’s Education Department. Numerous visits were also received in 30 delegations during 2015, totaling more than 400 persons from schools, universities, media, technology transfer and social organizations.

In addition, the Cuel Wind Farm has attracted the attention of the media, among its press coverage, the French TV channel TV5 Monde included Cuel in its documentary “In search of the winds”, to be broadcast worldwide in late 2016, and which included locations in Spain Ireland, Mexico and Chile.

About Aela

Aela Energía was formed by the association of international companies Actis (60%) and Mainstream RP (40%). It was founded in June 2013 and it currently holds a 600 MW portfolio of wind farms and solar projects, involving an investment of US $ 1,400 million, whose development and environmental approval were executed by Mainstream Chile.

Under this framework, adjacent to the Cuel Wind Farm are two other wind farms, San Manuel and Alena, with a total installed generating capacity of 70 MW and estimated investment of $140 million.