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Grand opening for Pattern Energy’s El Arrayán Wind facility in Chile

115 MW wind plant, Chile's largest, has the capacity to power 200,000 homes in the region.

Michelle Bachelet, the president of Chile, together with Jean-Paul Luksic, chairman of Antofagasta Minerals SA (“AMSA”) and Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy Group Inc officially opened operations at the 115 MW El Arrayán Wind facility in a grand opening ceremony at the project site, which is located 400 km north of Santiago on the coast of Chile. 

The El Arrayán Wind facility, which completed construction in June, will generate clean, renewable power equal to the needs of approximately 200,000 Chilean homes each year, according to the World Bank. The facility is utilizing 50 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines, which Pattern Energy is also using at other wind projects in Canada and the United States. El Arrayán Wind connects to the Sistema Interconectado Central's 220kV transmission system. The facility is located on approximately 15,320 acres of coastal land on a long-term lease with a single landowner.

Pattern Energy owns 70% of the El Arrayán Wind facility, which it also operates. AMSA owns the remaining 30% minority stake. The project sells approximately 70% of its output to Minera Los Pelambres through a long-term fixed-for-floating hedge. The facility sells its remaining output into the Chilean spot market at the prevailing market price at the time of sale. In addition to its minority interest in the facility, AMSA is the controlling party of Minera Los Pelambres.

"This project is important for our present and future energy needs, President Bachelet said. "El Arrayán is the biggest wind farm in Chile, and we are pleased at what we can achieve when we use the natural resources the earth has to offer. This project is another step toward meeting our energy agenda objectives."

Jean-Paul Luksic, Chairman of Antofagasta Minerals SA, added: “Through this partnership, we have combined our financial and management skills to be part of the solution to one of the major challenges facing our country and the mining industry, which is the generation of clean energy sources.”  

Compared to generation from a coal-fired power plant, the electricity produced annually by El Arrayán Wind will offset more than 300,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent to the annual carbon footprint of an estimated 70,000 Chileans, and will conserve enough water to meet the needs of more than 11,000 Chileans, according to statistics from the International Energy Agency, the World Bank and the US Energy Information Administration.

Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy, described Chile as "a great market" because of the President’s strong support for renewable energy policies, the country’s strong, stable economy and excellent natural wind resources, which can supply domestic energy to the country. "We are also especially pleased to be here with our strong partner AMSA, which is demonstrating to the world that a global mining company can be a leader in clean, domestic energy.”

Approximately 200 jobs were created during construction of the El Arrayán Wind facility. In addition, 15 ongoing permanent positions were created. The project was constructed by Skanska Chile SA, a subsidiary of Skanska AB and one of the leading wind-focused construction firms in Chile.


1. Chile's goal is to have 45% of its energy come from clean energy resources by 2025, according to President Michelle Bachelet.  


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Energy efficiency  •  Energy infrastructure  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Wind power