Harvesting wind energy to power homes

With one of the longest coastlines in the world, Chile is well suited for wind energy production. The country’s geographic advantage, political support for wind energy through President Pinera’s ambitious 20-20 energy plan, and privatization in the Chilean energy market have spurred an explosive growth of wind energy in the country.

Enhol, a large private energy provider in Chile, required a partner to manage the turnkey delivery and operations management for a wind park along the coastal zone of Limarí province. The project required detailed financial and engineering feasibility studies prior to advancing the project. Once the project was shown to be financially viable, Enhol would require a partner to oversee design, construction and overall operations of the facilities.

Louis Berger provided Enhol with a turnkey solution by overseeing the feasibility assessment, design, construction and operation of the 48 MW, 24 wind turbine farm. The project scope included:

  • Preparation and building of platforms and foundations.
  • Installation of wind turbines, an electric substation and underground trenches.
  • Installation, assembly of equipment and testing.
  • Construction of an electric substation and a control center.

The power lines, which transfer the energy towards the substation, were run through underground trenches placed parallel to the internal roads of the park for improved aesthetics and weather protection.

As a result of the project 74,000 homes are now connected to the Interconnected Central System (ICS) and will receive non-conventional renewable energy. In addition, 88,000 tons of CO2 will be reduced per year, the equivalent of taking 15,000 vehicles out of circulation.