Pattern Energy Group said November 28 that a Chilean miningcompany has entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement for the output of Pattern's planned 115-MW El Arrayan wind project. Minera Los Pelambres, a metals mining company controlled by Antofagasta plc, also entered into an agreement under which it will have an option to acquire a 30% stake in the wind project.
El Arrayan will be Chile's largest wind farm, and will be located along the country's northern coast, about 250 miles north of Santiago.
Mike Garland, Pattern's CEO, said in statement that the project "boasts one of the strongest wind resources in Chile," and that Pattern was "attracted to Chile because it is an investment-grade country with a very attractive power market and growing demand for electricity." He noted that Chile has established a goal of generating 20% of its energy from non-conventional renewable sources by 2020, and that Pattern hopes to develop more projects there.
Construction of the El Arrayan project is expected to begin in early 2012, with commercial operation of the facility to start in the second half of 2013. Siemens will provide 2.3-MW wind turbines, and Skanska will built the project. Pattern said that project has secured all land leases required for the wind turbines and a related transmission line.
"Pattern launched the financing of the project in late August and expects to reach financial close early next year," the San Francisco-based developer said. "Local Chilean banks, as well as international banks, are currently analyzing the transaction; mandated lead arrangers were appointed in November."