Colombia's EPM to build 200 MW windfarm

GUAJIRA, COLOMBIA - Colombian power company Empresas Publicas de Medellin (EPM) plans to build a 200-megawatt (MW) windfarm in Guajira, near the north coast of the country.

Since 2006, EPM has been conducting wind measurements in a 5,000-kilometer area for feasibility studies. EPM plans to complete wind studies by the end of 2010, then select the location of the windfarm and start with equipment specifications and preliminary design.

The bidding process is scheduled to start in 2011.

Three types of contracts are being considered, depending on financing. The options at present, from most to least favorable for EPM, are: a turn-key contract; the supply of equipment, with technical assistance, during a year after commissioning; and a build, operate and transfer contract.

Construction kickoff is scheduled for 2012, and the 70 planned wind turbines to be installed would be operational by about 2014, since construction is expected to last 18 months.

The project, which will have a total investment of about $300 million, will include the construction of the 80-kilometer transmission line that needs to be built to connect the windfarm to the grid.

EPM plans to perform the operation and maintenance of the 200-MW facility with its own personnel since they have been performing these activities with Jepirachi Wind Park, which has been generating power to the grid since 2003. Jepirachi was the first windfarm commissioned in Colombia, with a total power output of 19.5 MW.


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