IDB Invest has provided financing for three wind projects in Chile that will contribute to the ongoing diversification of the country’s electricity grid.
Chile has been on a fast track to renewable energy in recent years, and IDB Invest has helped fuel that trend with investments in solar, geothermal and wind energy. A loan package signed with Aela Energía in 2017 will finance three wind projects with a combined installed capacity of 332 megawatts (MW), in Chile’s Atacama, Los Lagos and Bío-Bío regions.
Chile has been incorporating more non-conventional renewables into its grid as it seeks to move away from fossil fuels—especially coal—for electricity generation.
Climatescope, which assesses investment conditions for clean energy and climate-related investments in more than 70 countries, ranks Chile as the seventh most attractive country in the world for green investment, with only Brazil and Mexico scoring higher among Latin American countries.
For the Aela Energía projects, IDB Invest put together a $410 million financing package in conjunction with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Korean Development Bank, CaixaBank and KfW. Project financing will cover about 70 percent of total financing, while the equity partners will provide the remaining 30 percent.
Aela Energía will build and operate the 170 MW Sarco Wind Farm in Atacama and the 129 MW Aurora Wind Farm in Los Lagos, and it will own and operate the existing 33 MW Cuel Wind Farm in Bío-Bío. Founded in 2013, Aela Energía is 60 percent owned by Actis, a global fund that invests in growth markets, and 40 percent by Mainstream Renewable Power, a global developer of renewable energy projects.
The AELA Generation Project (the “Project”) includes the financing of two new wind farms located in Chile’s Atacama and Lakes regions, respectively; a 73 km, insulated 220 kV transmission line linking the Sarco wind farm to the existing substation at Maitencillo; and the Cuel wind power plant currently in operation.
The Sarco wind farm (“Sarco”) will be sited on a 2,680 hectare lot, will have an installed capacity of 170 MW, and will consist of 50 Senvion 3.4M114 turbines. The power to be produced will be delivered to the Maitencillo substation over a 73 km, insulated 220 kV transmission line, and construction of this line is also part of the project. The Aurora wind park (“Aurora”) will be located on a 2,500 hectare property, will have an installed capacity of 129 MW, and will consist of 43 Senvion 3.0M112 turbines. The power generated there will flow directly to the existing transmission line (220 kV) that joins the Rahue and Puerto Montt substations. The Cuel power plant (in operation) has 23 GW87 wind turbines for a total installed capacity of 33.0 MW.
The IIC’s participation in the financing will help to increase the supply of renewable energy in Chile.