Eólica Rionegrina S.A., a company belonging to the Province of Río Negro, and the holding company Corporación América S.A. signed an agreement for a joint submission in the first round of the tender for RenovAr 1. The tender is part of the National Plan of Renewable Energies. It involves the building, management and maintenance of a 100 MW modular wind park.
In case of winning the tender, Eólica Rionegrina and Corporación América will carry out the project at the Mount Policía plateau, located 32 km from El Chocón hydroelectric complex. The thirty four square-kilometer area for the facility was allocated by the government of the Province of Río Negro.
The government of the province, through its state-owned company INVAP, has been researching into the resources of renewable energies for about 20 years and developing wind projects. For its part, Corporación América has been managing Carapé Wind Park in Maldonado (Uruguay) for the last three years. This 95 MW entrepreneurship provides the city of Montevideo with a third of the energy it currently uses.
The challenge to the government of Río Negro is to make the province a part of the territories that promote the generation of clean energies. There is a great wind and hydroelectric potential since global projects may reach 3,000 MW based on the water resources of the Andean basin and the rivers and irrigation channels crossing the entire geography of the Province of Río Negro.
Tender documents will be submitted on September 5, 2016, and the tender will be awarded on October 12.
The agreement was signed on August 30, this year, during an event that took place at the Casa de Río Negro in the city of Buenos Aires. It was attended by the Governor of Río Negro, Mr. Alberto Weretilneck; the Secretary of State for Energy, Dr.Sebastián Caldiero; the Secretary of Electric Energy, Mrs. Andrea Confini; INVAP’s representatives; and the Director of Corporación América and President of the fuel company Compañía General de Combustibles S.A. (CGC, in Spanish), Engineer Hugo Eurnekian.
The Governor Alberto Weretilneck said he was convinced that “Río Negro is about to become a large producer of wind energy.”
He highlighted the pride felt for the fact that two companies of the Province of Río Negro, INVAP and Transcomahue, were submitting the tender together with Corporación América.
He pointed out that “the submission of this first tender for renewable or alternative energies is a great opportunity for development at a moment at which the lack of energy, its costs, and the financial support needed to set up new energy projects are the topics of everyday discussions. The RenovAr 1 program is undoubtedly an excellent opportunity for the country and the province.”
The Province of Río Negro established a partnership between two state companies of its own, INVAP and Transcomahue. The first is one of the most important technology companies of Argentina. It is the manufacturer and supplier of satellites for the national system of radars, digital television service, and nuclear plants that have been built in several countries. The latter is a provincial company of power transmission.
We have reached an agreement with Corporación América on this tender by providing the starting capital and the premises where the park will be located. I would like to thank Corporación América for its confidence in these two provincial companies. We are sure that we will make a highly competitive offer,” he remarked.
Again, he added that “he is convinced that Río Negro is soon to become a large producer of wind energy.”
The Governor also explained that “this park has a capacity of approximately 3000 MV, which will make it the most important in Argentina, with a further comparative advantage since it will be the only one place at less than 40 km from the power transmission lines that reach the city of Buenos Aires.”
“The government of the province has a strong commitment on the new proposals carried out by the national government. We did not want to miss the opportunity offered by this project, conceived after many years of research,” he said.
Finally, he reminded that “the Province of Río Negro shares a series of dams on the Limay River with the brother Province of Neuquén, which generates 25% of the electric power used by the country. Besides, the company also owns other important dams along the main irrigation channels and the Colorado River, as well as gas and oil production plants that are rapidly growing.”
On his part, the Director of Corporación América and President of CGC, Hugo Eurnekian, pointed out that “we are very happy and excited, since we have been studying the wind issue for a long time.” We firmly believe that renewable energy is the solution for our country. It is an abundant resource, ready to cheap and rapid exploitation.”
“We carried out our first project in Uruguay and believe that we are now ready to start working on this project, which has been pursued for so many years,” he added.
Eurnekian remarked that “this project has a lot of unique features. Wind energy is an extraordinary resource but it is intermittent, so that to be near the hydroelectric plants, which are continuous, is an advantage. Besides, it is very near high-capacity transmission lines.”
Finally, he said that “an important part of the investment will be provided by the company and the rest by international financing.”
In its turn, the General Manager and CEO of INVAP, Lic. Héctor Otheguy, explained that “after some research in different places of the Patagonia region, we have found out that Rentería Plateau, where Mount Policía platear is located, is one of the best places in Argentina to install the facility because of the speed of the wind there, its quality and direction, the gusts and some other technical details.”
He reminded that some joint work with Corporación América had been carried out some years ago when “we submitted two tenders prior to these ones, which had been launched by the former government. By that time, we were technically graded in the second tender; but, later, the process was interrupted.”
The leader of INVAP said that “the conditions are ideal” for submitting a tender because “we are uniting a national policy that is clear as regards the renewable resources, a provincial policy, and an adequate leading associate with vocation for investing.”
“We know that our offer is very competitive from a technical viewpoint.” The economic aspect will be evaluated later,” he maintained.
Finally, he expressed his gratitude to Governor Weretilneck ”for his confidence in making us responsible for this process together with Transcomahue, and to Corporación América for choosing our services to carry out this project.”
About Corporación América
Corporación América is an Argentine holding company. It operates in several business areas and it is located in 10 different countries. It has investments in airports, agroindustry, the viticulture sector, infrastructure and nanotechnology. It also has a strong presence in the energy sector related to biodiesel production, wind energy and hydrocarbons exploitation.
About Eólica Rionegrina S.A.
Eólica Rionegrina S.A. has been integrated by INVAP S.E., an Argentine state-owned company, and Transcomahue S.A., a provincial company of high tension power transmission.
The aim of Eólica Rionegrina is the building and implementation of a wind park to generate electricity in the area of Mount Policía (Province of Río Negro). INVAP installed two very high towers there several years ago to measure different levels of wind speed and direction with electronic equipment. They provided fundamental information to develop this entrepreneurship.