The bay Bahía El Arrayán lies on Chile’s coast just south of Coquimbo, near the town of Tongoy. It offers an incredible location and view, and was a coveted location for the hotel and resort industry.
This bay, however, is much more than just a recreational environment. The topography of Bahía El Arrayán provides ideal winds for wind farm development, and currently Chile’s largest wind farm Parque Eólico El Arrayan, is under construction here.
The 50 wind turbines of Parque Eólico El Arrayan are expected to be complete in 2014. The project is the result of US$ 270 million in investments from around the world.
“This is a project of 115 MW capacity,” Lilian Clea of Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) told La Tercera. This is enough energy to power 200,000 homes, all without producing any harmful emissions.
BNEF has been collecting data on renewable energy investment around the world, and recently published a special report on their findings. The report highlights Chile as one of several developing nations worldwide to have at least one renewable energy investment exceeding US$ 250 million in 2012. Chile joins South Africa, Morocco, Ukraine, Mexico, Kenya, Brazil, and Ethiopia on the list.
Chile’s status as a country with a high level of renewable energy investment is largely due to the Parque Eólico El Arrayan project, according to La Tercera.
Parque Eólico El Arrayan has been financed by three main outlets. One is North America’s leading wind and transmission company, Pattern Energy Group LP. The other is AEI, a Houston, Texas-based energy company. Lastly, Chilean mining company Antofagasta Minerals SA will be purchasing much of the power generated by the wind turbines for their Los Pelambres mine.