Aurora wind farm is being developed in the Los Lagos region of Chile. Image courtesy of Aela Energía.
Aela Energía, a joint venture between Actis and Mainstream Renewable Power, is developing the wind farm. Image courtesy of Aela Energía.
Senvion is supplying 43 3.0M122 wind turbines for the 129MW Aurora wind farm. Image courtesy of Aela Energía.

Aurora wind farm is a 129MW onshore wind farm being constructed in the Los Lagos region of Chile. It is being developed by Aela Energia, a joint venture (JV) of Mainstream Renewable Power (40%) and Actis (60%), with an estimated investment of $210m.

Aela Energia is also developing the 170MW Sarco wind farm in the Atacama region in northern Chile along with the Aurora wind farm.

Environmental clearance for the Aurora wind farm was awarded in September 2015, while financial closure was achieved in 2017. Aurora wind farm will provide green energy to approximately 215,000 Chilean homes, upon commissioning.

Aurora wind farm location

Aurora wind farm is being developed on a 3,507ha property located approximately 15km from Llanquihue city and 50km from Puerto Montt, in the Los Lagos region of Chile.

Aurora wind farm make-up

The Aurora wind farm will be installed with 43 Senvion 3.0M122 turbines, which will be mounted on a 119m-tall tower. Each turbine set consists of a 57t nacelle to which three blades of 61m length each are fitted. The tip height of the wind turbine is 180m, while the diameter is 122m.

The turbine rotor has a swept area of 11,690m² and operating temperature range between -20°C and +40°C. An asynchronous squirrel cage rotor generator is coupled to the turbines. Energy generated is converted by a full-scale converter, which is connected to direct voltage intermediate circuit.

Power transmission details

Aurora wind farm will be connected to a 170MVA transformer located within the project site. The 109t transformer will step-up the voltage from 33kV to 220kV.

An underground collector system will collect the energy generated by the turbines and transport to the transformer. The power generated will be transmitted through the existing 220kV Rahue-Puerto Montt trunk transmission line operated by Chilean transmission Transelec and fed into the national electricity system.

Electricity produced by the Aurora wind farm will power homes in Chile for a period of 20 years under a power distribution contract awarded by the national energy commission of Chile.

Financing details

Aela Energia secured $410m or 70% of the financing for both the Sarco and Aurora wind farm projects in August 2017.

A consortium of banks including Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Korean Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Inter-American Investment Corporation (IADB-IIC), CaixaBank, and KfW IPEX-Bank are providing the financing.

The remaining 30% financing will be provided by the equity partners.

Apollo Global Management provided $50m mezzanine finance for the project to Mainstream in December 2017.

Construction details

The initial shipment of 25 turbine blades reached Puerto Montt in January 2018. The delivery was made by turbine blades manufacturing company RIABlades, which is owned by Senvion Group.

The blades were transported to the farm site in July 2018 and installed in August.

The power transformer for Aurora wind farm was transported from Puerto Chincui port, located in Puerto Montt, to the project location.

Contractors involved

Wind turbine manufacturer Senvion was awarded a contract to provide 43 Senvion 3.0M122 wind turbines for the project.

Mainstream awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction contract for the project to CJR Renewables. The contractual scope includes construction of access roads, laying of platforms and foundations for the turbines, trench work, laying of communications cable, and earthing network system works.

The transformer for the Aurora wind farm was manufactured by ABB.