September 8, 2012

Mainstream halts work on Chilean project

James Quilter, Windpower Monthly, 07 September 2012, 2:30pm | 7 September 2012

Irish developer Mainstream Renewable Power has halted building work on the 18MW Laguna Verde project in the Valparaíso region of central Chile amid reports the project had suffered criminal damage.

According to the reports, local opponents to the project have repeatedly sabotaged machinery leading to fears of greater damage in the future once the project’s 1.5MW turbines are installed.

Mainstream confirmed it has dropped the project. In a statement it said it had decided to focus on larger-scale projects such as the 34MW Negrete Cuel and Ckani wind farm, which has a total capacity of up to 240MW. It was unable to comment on the extent of the damage to the wind farm.

This is not the first time a project has been halted in Chile. Earlier this year, Ecopower’s 112MW Chiloe wind farm was suspended after the Chilean supreme court found that a local indigenous community had not been properly consulted during the environmental impact approval process.

In December, Mainstream signed 50/50 joint venture with China’s Xinjiang Goldwind for the Ckani project.

Goldwind’s US subsidiary is supplying 47 of its 1.5MW direct-drive permanent-magnet turbines for the first phase of Mainstream’s the project in Antofagasta, northern Chile.

Previously, Mainstream bought 23 of Goldwind’s 1.5MW turbines for the 34.5MW Negrete Cuel project, also in Chile.

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