Wind Power Enters Argentinean Energy Grid
So far mainly fed by fossil fuels, hydroelectric, and nuclear power, the Argentinean energy grid is now incorporating clean energy from the Antonio Moran wind park, located in the southern province of Chubut. The park was born in 1994 with only two windmills to feed a small town, and has grown up to become the largest in South America so far. It has a total of 26 windmills and an annual production of 60.9 million kWh.
Although Argentina has not been a champion in pushing wind power generation, this news and the fact that the country is producing large wind turbines might be showing a new trend. The country certainly needs to find new generation sources to face the energy crisis and Patagonia has massive wind frequency and speed, which make wind the obvious choice.
More on the energy crisis and the Antonio Moran park in the extended.Argentina's current energy grid
By the year 2000, Argentina had an installed generation capacity of 24 gigawatts, and relied mostly on fossil fuels (54% natural gas), hydroelectric (42%) and nuclear (4%), according to the Global Energy Network Institute.
As we told you before in different posts, the country is going through an energy crisis that has led Argentinean companies to take green measures, and the government to launch an energy saving plan while also pushing nuclear energy generation.
Wind power coming into equation now is probably not something that happened by chance, even if the government has not supported aeolian generation as much as it could have.
Aeolian energy and wind power in Argentina The incorporation of the Antonio Moran wind park to the national system is proof of the potentiality the Patagonia region has in wind power generation. According to the study Wind Power Generation in Argentina by the US Commercial Service (quoted by Globe.net), Patagonian winds have a "load factor of 42 percent (a ratio that takes into account days with wind above a certain speed), whereas in most areas in the world considered apt for wind power generation it does not go beyond 30 or 35 percent".
The same study says average wind speed in most locations in Northern Patagonia is 7.2 to 7.8 meters per second, and in Southern Patagonia (where the Moran park is), it is 9 to 11.2 meters per second.
In fact, wind power has been used in the south of the country for years, although funny enough, as an alternative for segments in need and not as part of a clean energy generation project on a national level. Until now.
With the incorporation of the park to the national grid, green energy becomes part of the energy consumed in all the country.
The idea of wind power gaining ground in the country also came up a few months ago, when it was announced that the country would produce large wind turbines.
Some of the wind park's numbers give a glimpse of what Argentina could achieve if it pushed wind power further: the windmills in Comodoro Rivadavia give power to 20 thousand homes and, according to estimations from SCPL cooperative (which manages the park), they save 5160 tons of petrol and 5.9 million cubic meters of gas a year.
:: La Nacion via ERenovableMore about Wind Power at TreeHugger:4500 Megawatt Wind Power Projects in PeruFirst building with Wind Turbine installed in Mar del Plata, Argentina