Ireland based renewable energy firm Mainstream Renewable hopes to have its flagship 240 MW Ckani wind farm project in Chile online by 2013, according to the company’s local general manager José Ignacio Escobar.

“The first stage of the project will see us start construction in the 2Q12. We anticipate construction would last around a year and so operations could start early 2013,” he said during an interview with BNamericas.

Mainstream submitted an EIA to environmental authorities in Chile’s northern region II for the US$500mn project earlier this week. Ckani envisages the installation of 160 x 1.5MW turbines each 85m in height. The facility will then connect to the SING power grid via the 220 kV El Abra transformer station.

The facility would be the biggest wind farm in the country, once constructed. Installed wind capacity in Chile currently stands at 179MW, all of which connects to the central SIC grid.

Mainstream has previously talked of developing projects in the north of Chile in order to supply the region’s power-hungry mining industry. However, the company has yet to decide on customers for Ckani and is currently investigating the alternatives of selling on the spot market or to distributors.