Aela Energía closes on two Chilean wind farms

Actis and Mainstream’s JV secured $410m for the 300MW Sarco and Aurora wind farms, which will generate cheaper electricity than fossil fuel alternatives.

Aela Energía, a Chilean renewables firm owned by emerging markets investor Actis and Dublin-based Mainstream Renewable Power, has closed on $410 million in financing for two wind farms with a total 299MW capacity.

The Inter-American Development, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, the IDB-affiliated Inter-American Investment Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, the Korean Development Bank, Caixa and KfW are all lending to the project. Banco Santander will provide a VAT credit line. Project financing will comprise 70 percent of total financing, with equity partners providing the remainder.

The 170MW Sarco project is located in Chile’s Atacama region, with the 129MW Aurora site located in the country’s Los Lagos region. Construction of the sites is expected to be completed in the second half of 2018.

“These projects were awarded through a competitive tendering process in which wind energy prices came in below fossil fuel prices, clearly demonstrating that renewable energy is cheaper than fossil fuel generation,” said Bart Doyle, Mainstream Chile’s general manager.

A joint venture in which Actis owns a 60 percent share, Aela was launched in June 2013 to deliver wind and solar projects in Chile. Aela’s portfolio also includes the 33MW Cuel Wind Farm, in the Biobío region, which began commercial operations in February 2014. The company aims to install 600MW in total capacity.

Actis, based in London, has been active in the Latin American renewables market. Zuma Energía, a Mexican affiliate of the firm, closed on $600 million in financing for the 424MW Reynosa Wind Farm earlier in the week.