On 10 October, Grupo EPM inaugurated the Los Cururos Wind Farm, an electricity generation plant that as a result of the kinetic energy of the wind (wind energy) will provide the Central Interconnected System with an output of 109.6 MW. The Los Cururos Wind Farm is the first investment made by EPM in Chile and was implemented via its subsidiary, EPM Chile, S.A. to head up the growth of the company in the south of the continent, which is one of the group’s strategic objectives as part of its internationalisation process.
Project feasibility studies were carried out by the German company Eolic Partners, while Danish multinational Vestas was responsible for plant construction. Vestas will also take charge of its operation over a period of five years. Siemens supplied the 220 kV and 33 kV equipment for the encapsulated substation and will also carry out their operation and maintenance for three years.
The Los Cururos Wind Farm has 57 1.8 and 2.0 MW wind turbines distributed between two adjacent properties: Pacífico, with 496 hectares and a rated output of 68.2 MW; and Cebada with a working area of 916 hectares and a rated output of 41.4 MW. Each group of wind turbines has individual transformers connected to a 33 kV collector grid that transmits the energy to the La Cebada substation from where the electricity is incorporated into the Central Interconnected System at 220 kV.
720 direct jobs were created as a result of the construction of which 60 employees were local residents. In acknowledgement of the environmental responsibility that has inspired this project, the wind farm has been named after the cururo, an underground rodent that lives in this part of the country and that is being particularly monitored by the authorities to avoid its extinction.