IMPSA Wind, a business unit of IMPSA, won the bid to build the Arauco wind farm’s first enlargement in the Province of La Rioja. IMPSA Wind has been chosen to carry out the second phase of the wind farm located in Puerta de Arauco, about 20 km to the south of Aimogasta. The project includes the turnkey provision, operation and maintenance of the Arauco wind farm enlargement, from an installed base power of 2.1 MW to an installed base power of 25.2 MW.

Besides, the project foresees a third phase that will end up with 90 MW, which is enough to supply 45% of the current energy demand of the province. At present, the first phase of the wind farm provided by IMPSA, which includes one 2,1MW wind turbine, is under construction.

This work, which will start operating in 2010, represents an investment of approximately ARS230 million (value added tax included) from the Province. In this second phase of the Project, 11 new IMPSA IWP-83 wind generators of 2.1 MW will be added. These ones will be built in the company’s plants in Mendoza. Such facilities include the development laboratories, test benches for blades and generators, the blade model (template) and mold factory and the generator and tower factory. A great part of the equipment components are subcontracted in different factories and workshops of the country, since this type of projects substantially contribute to the national industry growth and generate qualified local employment.

Emilio Guinazu, P.E., IMPSA Wind’s general manager, stated: “The Arauco Wind Farm is a milestone for Argentina, La Rioja and for IMPSA. Arauco II is a step towards the province’s power generation independence, and it represents the trust and support for the development of energetic projects from renewable resources and a clean and sustainable growth.”

“The increase of the environmental and economic cost due to the use of fossil fuels for energy production, has led to an explosive growth in the use of these resources worldwide, within which we find “wind energy”, which is one of the most economically and technically consolidated ones. The generation through a clean and renewable resource, such as wind, contributes to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases coming from the use of fossil fuels which are responsible for global warming.” Concludes the company’s executive staff member.

The IWP-UNIPOWER is an exclusive IMPSA Wind design, with a synchronous generator of permanent magnets. This innovative concept eliminates a great part of the equipment’s moveable components since it does not need a gear box, it reduces the number of rotating individual components, considerably reducing the times of forced stops and increasing the efficiency, thus providing a higher quantity of energy. The company has developed several wind turbines including 1 MW, 1.5 MW and 2.1 MW equipment, for all wind types and classes. At present, the technology of wind turbines of over 4MW is being developed to be launched into the market in the coming years.

A 2.1 MW turbine, which weighs over 65 tons, generates enough energy to supply 1,200 homes per year and the equivalent necessary amount of energy to water 2,900 hectares of olive trees annually. The estimated production for such wind turbine represents approximate savings of 472 tons of CO2 (carbon dioxide) per year, besides, it allows the region to save 1.2 million pesos in gas and more than 1.5 million pesos in fuel oil annually.

The component dimensions and sizes of these modern wind mills are also significant: the generator rotor has a diameter of 83 meters and its blades are 38,8 meters long. The steel towers reach 85 meters high, equivalent to a 30-story building.