Norway’s Statkraft to build 102 MW wind farm project in Chile

Norway’s power producer Statkraft will build three onshore wind farms with a combined capacity of 102 megawatt (MW) in Chile, its first such units in the South American country, the company has said.

In total, the Torsa wind power project is expected to produce more than 300 gigawatt hours (GWh) of renewable energy annually once fully operational by December 2022, enough power to supply 100,000 average Chilean households, Statkraft said.

The wind farms are located in the O’Higgins region, 124 kilometres south of the capital Santiago and would help satisfy Chile’s increasing demand for renewable power, it added.

Construction of the 19 turbines by manufacturer Nordex will start in the second half of 2021, Statkraft said.

The Norwegian state-owned utility has been present in Chile since 2014 and currently owns hydropower plants with a capacity of 209 MW and an annual production of 747 GWh in the world’s southernmost country.

Offshore wind is becoming a key emerging risk. The latest move comes as the Biden administration aims to transform the United States into the world’s leading producer of energy from offshore wind, according to Amanda Lefton, director of the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

The administration’s plan sets out a goal to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, enough to power 10 million homes.

Such a move would catapult the US into the world’s leading player in the offshore wind energy market. Europe, by contrast, produces in the region of 20 GW of capacity from offshore wind at present.

At the beginning of the year Shell said it is to acquire a controlling stake in a 300MW floating wind farm project planned for the Atlantic’s Celtic Sea area, under an agreement with Irish developer Simply Blue Energy.

The two firms have agreed to form a joint venture that will see the oil and gas giant take a 51 per cent stake in the Emerald project, which is to be operated by Simply Blue Energy once completed with support from Shell floating wind experts, they said.

Located South of Ireland close to the Kinsale gas fields, which are currently being decommissioned, the Emerald project is initially slated to have 300MW of installed capacity, with the potential to scale up to a total of 1GW in future – enough to power 800,000 Irish homes.

The first phase of the project is set to feature between 15 and 25 floating wind turbines, depending on the size of turbines selected, with their assembly, installation, and deployment expected to create hundreds of jobs in the supply chain, the companies said.