Most Influential Projects 2021

15 Andes Renovables

Image of a wind tower in Chile

For building a sustainable energy source and powering up the local economy

To really move the needle on Chile’s energy consumption, Mainstream Renewable Power is thinking big: a US$1.8-billion project to build seven wind farms and three photovoltaic solar farms across the country. One of the largest renewable energy initiatives in Latin America, it could supply 1.3 gigawatts of clean power, enough to meet the needs of 20 percent of Chilean households, when all the pieces go fully operational as early as 2022. That could mean a significant advance toward Chile’s ambitious 2050 carbon neutrality target

The project also provides a big economic boost, solidifying Chile’s reputation as a renewable energy powerhouse and helping shift the country from its heavy reliance on mining. On a visit to three sites across Antofagasta, Regional Minister for Energy Aldo Erazo praised the megaproject for “contributing significantly to economic recovery,” noting “a strong local presence among the workforce.”

The project is driven by a global array of power players, including wind farm contractors Sacyr Industrial and Elecnor; Vestas, Nordex and Siemens Gamesa supplying turbines; Sterling and Wilson and Metka Egn building solar components; and Hitachi ABB, Transelec, Inprolec and Isotron-Siemens providing transformers and connecting the grid. 

The first of the platform’s three phases, Condor, came online in July. And Mainstream Renewable Power is already spinning lessons learned from this megaproject into ambitions for its next big power play: Nazca Renovables, a program of six Chilean renewable energy projects with a combined 1 gigawatt of capacity.