An agreement has been signed with the communities surrounding the Negrete Cuel Wind Farm, located in the Biobío region of Northern Chile, for the investment of funds from the wind farm into the local community each year.
The 33 megawatt wind farm is located 12 km west of the commune of Los Ángeles and is owned by Aela Energia (a joint venture between Actis and Mainstream Renewable Power). The signing of the agreement was the culmination of an engagement process with the surrounding communities of San Manuel, Aguada de Cuel, El Morro, Paso Arena and Mesamávida. The objective of the process was to develop positive relations with the surrounding communities and to understand their needs for the development of local initiatives.
José Ignacio Escobar, General Manager of Mainstream Renewable Power Chile, the company that developed, built and currently operates the wind farm said: “The signing of this agreement is another step forward in the joint efforts we’ve carried out with the nearby communities, and it shows our commitment to staying in the area to continue developing sustainable energy projects for the country.”
Sergio del Campo, General Manager of AELA, the company which owns the wind farm, held that this initiative positions them as the main wind energy supplier in the region, working in a direct engagement with the surrounding communities: “Our neighbors are an important part of our project’s development success. We’ll continue working in this direction and we trust we can continue to strengthen these relations”.
“As community leaders we are pleased and satisfied with the signing of this agreement. This will be useful to work together as a community in search of the projects that can benefit us all and therefore strengthening our relationship with the farm”, said Cristrian Anabalón, President of the Paso Arena Neighborhood Association.
Applicants will be invited to apply to the “Projects Evaluation Committee” for funding in November of each year. The committee will select and qualify the projects based on predefined criteria which have been established in agreement with the local community. The Projects Evaluation Committee will comprise the community relations officer, the project company’s general manager; the presidents of the Neighborhood Associations; an officer from the Los Ángeles Municipality and a provincial Government officer.
About Aela Energía
Aela Energía is a renewable energy generation business. It was formed in June 2013 to deliver over 600MW of wind and solar projects into operation in Chile by early 2016. The joint venture company is owned by Actis (60%), the pan-emerging markets private equity firm and Mainstream Renewable Power (40%), the global renewable energy developer. The projects have been fully developed by Mainstream and will be purchased by Aela at financial close. Mainstream will continue to manage the construction and operation of the projects on behalf of Aela Energía.
Aela’s first project, the 33MW Negrete Cuel wind farm in the Bío Bío region of Southern Chile began commercial operation in February 2014. The remaining portfolio of projects, wind and solar, are at late stage development with two wind farms and one solar park due to commence construction during 2014. http://aelaenergia.cl/