A new wind farm called MeloWind has already been connected in Cerro Largo and extends over 21 hectares, with an output of 50 megawatts that will be used to supply energy to UTE. The agreement was signed with the Uruguayan subsidiary of the Italian company Enel-Green Power.
The MeloWind wind farm, built and operated by Enel Green Power, the Italian company of the Enel Group engaged in renewable energies, involved an investment of nearly 100 million dollars. It will account for 50 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity since its commissioning and is located in Cerro Largo.
MeloWind will be capable of producing over 200 million kilowatts/hour (kWh) a year, avoiding the emission of over 62,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere.
“The electricity produced by this 21 hectare farm, will be sold to UTE, as per the contract executed by both companies”, confirmed the director of the energy agency, Walter Sosa. The power purchase agreement represents a 20-year compromise, for an initial value of USD 64/MWh generated.
For this purpose, the state-run company planned a power outage schedule for 30 August, which will affect the departments of Treinta y Tres and Cerro Largo. These cuts will ensure safety for the completion of technical works on high voltage power lines in order to enable the connection of this wind farm located in the town of Arbolito.
The outage will include locations in neighboring departments, such as José Pedro Varela, in Lavalleja; Lascano, in Rocha; and Río Branco, in Cerro Largo. In all cases power cuts will be conducted between 8:00 am and 11:00 am or 1:00 pm, depending on the location.
Sosa pointed out that this undertaking adds to the effort of increasing the inclusion of wind energy in the power grid. “With this farm, we exceed 500 MW of installed capacity”. “There are about 1,400 MW in the pipeline in other private contracts as well as in UTE projects”, he said.
In this respect, he announced that for 2017 there will be 1,600 MW of wind power installed in the country. “There have been days when almost 100% of the demand has been covered by wind energy, which implies a significant reduction in costs”, he added.
He also highlighted that these wind power supply contracts enable to purchase power at USD 64/MW, when the thermal power generating machines generate at a cost of USD 180 a MW.
The Director of UTE emphasized the strategic importance of setting up wind farms, both for the environment and for energy sovereignty.
“From a standpoint of decreasing carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere, it is highly beneficial. Furthermore, in terms of the country’s sovereignty because we do not need to import fuel, it is a domestic and natural resource just as biomass and solar energy”, he concluded.