In Chile and Mexico, companies have secured huge project financings which will see the construction of large wind farms.

In Chile, Aela Energy has obtained US$410mn for two wind farms, while Zuma Energia has borrowed US$600mn for what will be Latin America’s largest wind farm, located in Mexico.

Aela Energy is a joint venture between Mainstream Renewable Power and Actis. The project financing will be provided by the Inter-American Development Bank, BTMU, SMBC, Korean Development Bank, Caixa Bank, KfW and Santander as VAT lender. It has an 18-year tenor.

The Chilean projects will be located in the Atacama and Los Lagos regions, and will generate 170MW and 129MW of power, respectively.

Turbines will be provided by German manufacturer Senvion, with both projects set to complete in the second half of 2018. When online, they will power 460,000 households and Mainstream Chile general manager Bart Doyle praised the market conditions for raising finance.

“These projects were awarded through a competitive tendering process in which wind energy prices came in below fossil fuel prices, clearly demonstrating that renewable energy is cheaper than fossil fuel generation. Last year Mainstream was exclusively awarded further supply contracts equivalent to almost 1GW of wind capacity in Chile, representing a 30% share of the auction.”

Zuma Energia, meanwhile, will build a wind farm that will generate power for 1 million homes. “This is crucial for the country. It demonstrates that the reforms that have been enacted are bankable and that you can attract investment,” says Zuma CEO Adrián Katzew.

The Reynosa-based facility will have capacity of 424MW and puts renewable energy in Mexico on the map. The finance comes from Bancomext, Banobras, Nafin, Santander and Danish export credit agency EKF.

Commercial operations will commence at the end of 2018, while Zuma will be also be bringing online wind and solar projects elsewhere in Mexico in the next year.

“This is a great achievement for Zuma. In only three years the company has secured an 800MW portfolio, reached financial close for its largest project and positioned itself as a leader in Mexico’s renewable energy sector,” Katzew says.