09 Jul 21 News Projects Chile

Andes Renovables platform begins delivering electricity to Chilean grid

Francisco López, Chile’s Under Secretary of State for Energy, second left from centre, gives a thumbs up to the energisation of Tchamma Wind Farm, one of the four Cóndor portfolio projects that are now online

Mainstream Renewable Power has fully energised its 571MW Cóndor portfolio, the first phase of the company’s 1.35 GW Andes Renovables wind and solar power generation platform in Chile.

The milestone was marked by Francisco López, the country’s Under Secretary for Energy, who toured Mainstream’s Tchamma Wind Farm and met the local team.

Tchamma turbines, above, and Mainstream team switch on transformer at Cerro Tigre wind farm last month, below

This development means that the Cóndor portfolio has begun supplying energy to Chile’s National Electricity System, and has commenced the tests prior to the start of commercial operation in order to guarantee the optimal functioning of the asset.

Once the Cóndor portfolio reaches full generation, expected during the second half of 2021, it will supply more than 680,000 Chilean households with 100% renewable energy.

The portfolio comprises three wind farms and one solar farm in the regions of Antofagasta, Atacama and Biobío.

The Cóndor portfolio is the first of three that makes up Mainstream’s Andes Renovables platform in Chile, which covers seven wind and three solar PV generation assets, representing an investment of approximately $1.8 billion and an installed capacity of more than 1.35 GW of clean energy.

The second stage, Huemul (630 MW), reached financial close in September 2020, and the final stage, Copihue (148.5 MW), reached financial close on 30 June 2021.

Energy Minister Juan Carlos Jobet lends a hand in the construction of Río Escondido Solar Farm in October 2020, above, and the installation of the first turbine at Alena Wind Farm earlier this year, below

Speaking from Mainstream’s Tchamma wind farm in Calama, Francisco López, Chile’s Under Secretary for Energy said: "A few months ago, we were laying the first stone of this farm, and today we can see that it is already energised. One more sign that renewable energies are making a decisive advance in our country, thus helping to comply with the schedule of the decarbonisation plan.

"In particular, wind energy has the potential to exceed our current installed capacity by almost 50 percent, which is very positive for continuing to clean up our energy matrix."

Manuel Tagle, Mainstream’s General Manager for Latin America said: "The Cóndor portfolio is an example of Mainstream’s ability to build out renewable projects with speed and skill, despite the impacts of COVID-19.

"We are exceptionally proud that the project has earned government recognition for its crucial role in the recovery of the Chilean economy, particularly for their generation of skilled employment.

"We continue to strive towards decarbonising Chile’s electricity system as well as lowering the price of power generation in the country and the energisation of Condor is a crucial step in the right direction to achieve these objectives."

About Mainstream Renewable Power in Chile

In 2016, Mainstream was the biggest winner in Chile’s largest ever technology-neutral electricity auction, taking 27 percent of the total allocated capacity.

Chile’s National Energy Commission awarded Mainstream a 20-year index-linked, US dollar denominated contract, to supply 3,366 Gigawatt Hours of firm power each year starting in 2021.

Mainstream has also delivered an additional 332 MW of wind generation in Chile via the Aela Platform with its joint venture partner Actis.

Mainstream has an additional 3 GW of wind and solar PV generation assets under development in Chile.