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Published on June 11th, 2012 | by Andrew


Vestas Looks to Latin America as US Wind Energy Expected to Fall 80%

June 11th, 2012 by  


Vestas continues to make headway as it looks to Latin American markets to make up for what’s expected to be drastically reduced demand for wind turbines in the US if Congress fails to renew the wind energy production tax credit (PTC). The world’s leading wind turbine manufacturer has completed an agreement with Alba de Nicaragua S.A. (Albanisa) that includes the sale of 22 V100-1.8 MW wind turbines.

The V100-1.8 MW turbines are to be installed on-site at Albanisa’s planned 39.6-MW Alba Rivas wind farm located in Hacienda La Fe. In addition to supplying and commissioning the wind turbines, the contract entails Vestas providing a VestasOnline Business SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system and a five-year, full-service AOM 4000 maintenance and service agreement, according to a Vestas press release.

Emerging Latin America Wind Energy Markets

Producing some 180 GWh of clean, renewable electricity per year, the Alba La Rivas wind power farm will avoid around 36,400 tons of annual CO2 emissions as compared to the Nicaraguan average for electricity generation. Delivery of the first turbines is expected in Q4, with the wind farm expected to be operational in Q2 2013.

Latin America is playing an increasingly prominent role in wind energy industry participants’ sales and business development plans, given ongoing economic weakness and troubles in Europe and the looming expiration of the wind energy PTC in the US. Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel today told EU European Affairs ministers that 2012 will be a very busy year in the US as wind energy project developers rush to start installations before the wind energy PTC expiration deadline.

That will prove to be a final rush of wind turbine orders from the US, however, he added. The prospect of Congress renewing the PTC before expiration is dim given this is an election year. The result: Engel and Vestas senior management expect the US wind turbine market will plummet 80% in 2013.

“Vestas is focused on developing new business opportunities in the Latin American markets and this project is a good example of this goal,” commented Juan Araluce, chief sales officer of Vestas Wind Systems A/S and acting president of Vestas Mediterranean.

“Our commitment with the expansion of the wind energy industry will bring a clean, competitive and predictable energy source into the Nicaraguan energy mix while contributing to the development of local quality employment and competencies. We are pleased to have been chosen as Alba de Nicaragua´s partner.”

Vestas’ contract with Albanisa follows the signing of a contract that includes supplying 39.6 MW of its wind turbines for the La Fe – San Martin Wind Farm in Nicaragua, which is due to be connected to the grid in June. 

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About the Author

I've been reporting and writing on a wide range of topics at the nexus of economics, technology, ecology/environment and society for some five years now. Whether in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa or the Middle East, issues related to these broad topical areas pose tremendous opportunities, as well as challenges, and define the quality of our lives, as well as our relationship to the natural environment.

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