Acciona Energia has started construction work on the San Gabriel wind farm in the region of La Araucania, Chile.

 The company will own and operate the 183-megawatt (MW) facility which will produce emission-free electricity equivalent to the consumption of over 270,000 Chilean homes.

ACCIONA’s production from what will be its second wind farm in Chile will be mainly used to cover the 506 GWh of electric power awarded in a public tender called by the Chilean National Energy Commission (CNE) in August 2016.

“It is with great satisfaction that we announce the start of building work on a new renewables facility in Chile, demonstrating ACCIONA’s commitment to the country through concrete actions and our solvency and reliability when it comes to materializing projects that help to create an ever more sustainable energy system in our country” says ACCIONA Energia Chile General Manager José Ignacio Escobar.

More than 500 jobs created in the construction phase

Located 5 kilometers east of the municipality of Renaico, around 550 km south of Santiago de Chile, the San Gabriel wind farm will be equipped with sixty-one AW132/3000 wind turbines of Nordex Acciona Windpower technology. This model is designed to optimize energy capture on sites with low wind speeds. With rated power of 3 MW, each turbine will be powered by a 132-meter-diameter rotor on a concrete tower with a hub height 120 meters, reinforced with anti-earthquake technology.

San Gabriel will be the first wind farm in Chile to incorporate concrete tower technology, a field in which ACCIONA has extensive international experience. It is suitable for sites where it is important to reach greater tower heights to capture the wind resource and increase energy production.

The towers will be manufactured in a provisional plant built near the site, a model that increases the level of local outsourcing of components, the creation of jobs locally and, basically, a greater impact on the economy of the area where the wind power project is implemented. It also requires less transport, which reduces costs and the associated environmental impacts.

The installation of San Gabriel will mean the creation of around 510 jobs on average during the construction period, and another 15 permanent jobs for the operation and maintenance of the wind farm, plus the knock-on effect on the economic development of the region.