Spain’s Fenosa to invest in Latin American hydro, wind

Spanish power company Union Fenosa said June 13 it will invest 1.65 billion euros (US$2.2 billion) in developing renewable energy resources in Latin America including wind power and hydroelectric projects.

Fenosa said it would increase its renewable energy capacity in Latin America to 1,400 MW from 900 MW. The new resources would be 55 percent wind power and 45 percent hydroelectric.

The utility plans to develop projects in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, and Brazil. The move is part of the company’s strategic plan for 2007-2011 called “BIGGER”, which is aimed at changing its energy mix with major investment in renewables.

Fenosa said most of the projects would come on line during the period covered by the plan. The Latin American projects are to offset more than 1 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

Investments include:
o Mexico: mini-hydropower projects in southern Mexico totaling 100 MW for a total of 165 million euros (US$219.5 million) and wind projects totaling between 700 and 1,200 MW for 1.03 billion euros (US$1.37 billion);
o Costa Rica: 130 MW of hydro projects and 50 MW of wind projects for 200 million euros (US$266 million);
o Panama: 10 MW of hydro, already under construction, and 10 MW of wind for 25 million euros (US$33.2 million);
o Colombia: 400 MW of hydro for 450 million euros (US$598.8 million); and
o Brazil: potential 80 MW of hydro and 60 MW of wind for 160 million euros (US$212.9 million).

The individual projects listed actually total 1,670 MW (assuming the maximum amount of wind generation in Mexico) and 2.035 billion euros (US$2.708 billion). However, Fenosa used the lower megawatt and investment total because the Brazil projects are still considered potential, rather than actual, and some of the Mexican investment will be carried by local partners who will consume the power.

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