Enel Green Power has begun construction of the Melowind wind farm, marking the business' entry into the Uruguayan market. The new facility has 50 megawatts of installed capacity and is located in the Cerro Largo area, which is around 320 kilometres from Montevideo. Once completed, it will generate more than 200 million kilowatt-hours per year while avoiding the emission of more than 62,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
The construction of the Melowind plant will require around $98million of investment. EGP has signed a Power Purchase Agreement with state-owned UTE (Administración Nacional de Usinas y Trasmisiones Eléctricas), who manage the transmission, distribution and sale of electricity in Uruguay. Under the terms of the agreement, the electricity generated by the new plant will be sold to UTE for the next 20 years.
Investment in emerging markets is a key part EGP's growth strategy, as can be seen in the 2014-2018 Business Plan, which predicts EGP's entry into one or two promising markets each year. Uruguay has an abundance of natural resources, is experiencing rapid economic and population growth and has a stable regulatory framework.
In 2010, the Uruguayan government disclosed its 2030 National Energy Policy, which has the aim of diversifying the country's energy mix by increasing both the use of natural resources and encouraging the participation of the private sector in the energy industry.
The construction of the Melowind plant is part of the government's work towards the development of 1,200 MW of new operational wind power capacity by 2015. Uruguay currently has an installed capacity of approximately 2.9 gigawatts and 62 percent of its power production comes from renewable energy sources.