The Biobio Region aims to become an NCRE generation hub

Los Angeles, January 2, 2015

On his first visit to the Cuel Project in operation in Los Angeles, Intendant Rodrigo Díaz noted that the Biobío Region boasts privileged wind generation conditions.

Biobio Intendant Rodrigo Díaz visited the Cuel Wind Farm, owned by Aela Energía, to get a first-hand view of the very first initiative of this type operating in the area. He was welcomed by Aela Energía executives, headed by its CEO, Sergio del Campo, who showed him the grounds located 12 kilometers from Los Angeles, on the road that connects to Nacimiento. The wind farm includes 22 wind turbines with an installed capacity of 33 MW, and total investment amounting to US $ 75 million.

The Biobio Region aims to become an NCRE generation hub

The highest regional authority was accompanied by the Energy SEREMI (Regional Secretary of Ministry of Energy), Carola Venegas, and the alternate governor of the Biobío Province, Eugenia Guzmán. After the tour, the Intendant noted that the Aela Energía wind farm represents a new energy generation era in the Region that aims to become a non-conventional renewable energy hub. “This initiative consolidates the Region’s energy production status, since in addition to hydroelectric energy, it now introduces wind based energy, which, thanks to the high number of projects under development, will significantly increase our current generation capacity” said Rodrigo Díaz .

He added that the Cuel Farm “is operating successfully, with a high capacity factor of 33%. I was interested in getting to know this company because in the last tender it was awarded 65% of the regulated customers supply and because of its innovative model that complements energy production with solar projects, in addition to its important community liaison work”.

Aela Energía’s General Manager also referred to the authorities’ visit to the Cuel Wind Farm, and asserted that “last year this wind farm registered the best performance levels in the country, and we plan to build two more wind farms in this area, which were already developed and have been approved by the environmental authorities. It is clear that the Los Angeles Municipality offers privileged conditions for wind generation, confirming the Region’s strategic importance since it will contribute around 30% of the country’s installed power capacity.”

Regarding the work with communities that live near the wind farm, the executive said that the company philosophy is based on building trust “from the project’s early planning stages, long before its construction, which allows the materialization of initiatives to benefit neighbors, the company and the country,” said Sergio del Campo.

The Energy SEREMI, Carola Venegas, remarked that the initiative has succeeded in ensuring the sector’s productive base and contributes to lowering electricity prices, “in this area we can see traditional agricultural production hand-in-hand with energy generation. Furthermore, thanks to the company’s participation in the most recent regulated customers supply tender, we obtained the best prices in the past five years. This inspires our region to continue to be responsive to energy generation endeavors and to realize that they can coexist peacefully with our local activities”, she said.

During the visit, the authorities, in addition to touring the facilities, learned about the various initiatives undertaken for the benefit of the communities, thanks to the company’s community investment funds, combined with public resources. The delegation met with the area’s social and sports leaders and visited a soccer field built in the sector- that is the pride of the local neighborhood association- and the remodeled church and upgraded local roads.

The Company and the Wind Farm

The Cuel Wind Farm, owned by Aela Energía, consists of 22 wind turbines, a total installed capacity of 33 MW and total investment of US $ 75 million. Aela Energía is a joint venture between global companies Actis (60%) and Mainstream RP (40%). It was founded in June 2013 and boasts a 600 MW wind and solar project portfolio, US $ 1,400 million investment, was developed by Mainstream Chile, and has appropriate environmental permits in place. Two other wind farm projects have also been set up in the vicinity of the Cuel Wind Farm – San Manuel and Alena – with a total installed generation capacity of 70 MW and estimated US $ 140 million investment.