Gamesa, Iberdrola Bring Central America’s Largest Wind Farm Online

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Photo courtesy Gamesa

Gamesa and Iberdrola Renewables have brought the 102-MW Cerro de Hula wind farm in Honduras online for owner Mesoamerica Energy. The largest wind farm in Central America, Cerro de Hula will boost Honduran electricity generation capacity by 10% — in a country where an estimated 36% of residents do not have access to electrical power.

The Cerro de Hula project demonstrates one of the key advantages of modern, distributed wind, solar and renewable energy systems: they can be deployed quickly and efficiently. With a $200-million investment, it took just over one year to build and bring the Cerro de Hula wind farm online. Honduran President Porfirio Lobo Sousa laid the wind farm’s foundation stone in late January 2011, joined by the Spain and US ambassadors and project partners to mark the occasion.

Timelapse of Turbine blade assembly, Cerro de Hula from Energia Eolica de Honduras on Vimeo.

Multinational Wind Power Project Development

Built as per a turnkey contract for owner Mesoamerica Energy, a total of 51 Gamesa G87 2-MW wind turbines are now up and running at the Cerro de Hula site, 24 kms (~14 miles) south of the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa. The contract includes the provision of maintenance services for two years following start-up.

Honduras’ state-owned grid operator Empresa Nacional de Energia Electrica will take up and distribute Cerro de Hula’s electricity output under the terms of a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA). Investment funding was provided by the US Export-Import Bank and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration.

Gamesa and Iberdrola were awarded the contract to build Cerro de Hula in August 2010, with Gamesa controlling 76% of the venture. The first wind turbine was installed in July last year.

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