Uruguay
UTE Wind Farms
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Project Overview

  • The Uruguayan government, through its public utility UTE, has decided to award the construction of 450 MW of wind power capacity.
  • UTE and the Uruguayan government would like to further participate in the wind power market, which is considered of strategic interest for the future of the country’s electricity supply.
  • To this end, UTE plans to tender the construction and operation of up to three onshore wind farms. They will be constructed by private partners and will have a maximum installed generation capacity of 180 MW each.
  • After commissioning, UTE will lease the wind farms. The private partners will assume the responsibilities of services and maintenance. After five years, the public utility has the option to buy the farms or to extend the leasing for a further 15 years, at the same time extending the service contracts for a maximum of nine years.
  • Contracts will be signed in September 2012.
  • Over 790 MW of wind power generating capacity has been awarded in Uruguay since early 2011. These wind farms will be installed as well as operated by private stakeholders through power purchase agreements.

Public-Private Participants

Public Sector:

  • Administración Nacional de Usinas y Transmisiones Eléctricas, UTE

Private Sector:

  • To be determined

Lessons Learned

Energy Policies

  • Uruguay has put in place a variety of policies to increase the amount of renewable energy, especially wind power and biogas.
  • The private sector can participate in different ways. For example, a public-private partnership law exists that is aimed especially at infrastructure projects. In the leasing scheme planned by UTE, tax incentives are in place for the private partners.

Financing

  • The wind farms will be financed by the private partners. No special options will be offered for financing the projects, as market conditions are deemed sufficiently attractive.
  • However, tax exemptions for project developers do exist.
  • Moreover, incentives for early commissioning of the wind farms will be available.

Replicability

  • This project is replicable as a whole.

Long-Term Policy Framework

  • This is the first leasing scheme in Uruguay in the wind power sector. The experience from this will be valuable for future projects in renewable energy in the country.

Conclusions

  • Uruguay has a high potential for wind power. Moreover, wind power in the country is cheaper than fossil fuels for power generation.
  • To reach the target of 30% wind power (60% hydro power, 6% biomass, 4% fossil) in 2015, UTE feels it is necessary to promote this technology further.
  • In this respect, the leasing scheme could play an important role, in addition to the already existing possibilities for engaging the private sector.

For More Information Contact:

Ing. Oscar Ferreño
Gerente de Generación
Administración Nacional de Usinas y Transmisiones Eléctricas, UTE
+598 2 155 2023
[email protected]

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