Abengoa to build 70MW wind farm in Uruguay

The Spanish renewable energy and engineering firm will build, operate and maintain the wind farm over a 20-year period.

Spanish renewable energy and engineering firm Abengoa will construct, operate, and maintain a 70-megawatt (MW) wind farm in Uruguay’s Salto department and will contribute $6 million in equity to the project whose total cost is estimated at $165 million, the company said in a statement.

Abengoa has signed an operational lease agreement with the country’s state electricity company UTE, according to which the Spanish company will operate and maintain the wind farm for a 20-year period. UTE will make monthly payments, which at the end of the maintenance period, are expected to generate $500 million in revenues.

Construction is scheduled to start early next year, while the wind farm is expected to be operational in 2015.

“The project […] will enable renewable energy to be supplied to approximately 100,000 people, preventing atmospheric emissions of 140,000 tCO2 every year,” Abengoa said in its statement.

This is Abengoa’s third wind project in Uruguay. The previous two are 50MW wind farms: one is in Peralta, in the Tacuarembó department, which is close to completion; the second is in Cerro Colorado in the Flores department, which is about to enter the construction phase. Abengoa has signed 20-year purchase agreements with UTE for both projects.

The company has had a presence in the South American country since 1980 and has developed numerous projects in addition to the wind farms.

These include the extension and remodeling of the drinking water plant in Aguas Corrientes that supplies the city of Montevideo; the Montevideo-to-San Carlos transmission line; and the frequency converter stations in the cities of Rivera and Melo.

“The latest contract will strengthen Abengoa’s position in the wind power market and will consolidate its position as the leading private wind energy developer and operator in Uruguay,” the company said.

The Seville-based company’s core business activities include generating electricity from renewable resources, converting biomass into biofuels, and producing drinking water from sea water.