Bolivia inaugurates first wind farm, announces plans for solar plant

Following the recent inauguration of Bolivia’s first wind farm, the government of Bolivia has announced plans for the nation's first utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, a 4-5 MW plant in the Pando Department near the Brazilian border.

The project will represent an investment of USD 11 million, with 60% of the funding coming from Denmark and the remaining 40% from Bolivia. The plant will be the first step of a three phase project, which will include building similar plants in other towns, and supplying PV systems to Bolivian families living in isolated regions. 

Minister of the Presidency Juan Ramón Quintana has said that the plant will be deployed in August 2014, or September at the latest. The minister expects the plant to guarantee continuous power to five municipalities including Cobija, the capital of the Pando Department.

The plant is being presented as a means to expand electricity service, and also to make it “more solid”. “This project will be a mixed system for the production of energy for rural municipalities,” explained Minister Quintana. “We will have energy produced sometimes through diesel generation, and for the other part, through solar energy.”

The first wind farm in Bolivia, constructed by a Chinese firm, was officially opened by president Evo Morales in January.

The project features two Goldwind 1.5MW turbines

The 3MW development was built by Hydrochina Corporation and consists of two 1.5MW Goldwind turbines.

This is the first stage of the 15MW Qollpana wind farm, which is set to be completed by the Chinese firm if the first development is deemed a success.

In 2012, the People's Republic of China announced its intention to finance the nearby 50MW Tarija wind farm, which is to be developed by Chinese power engineering firm Sinomach.

Bolivia set out ambitious plans in 2011 to construct 150MW of wind capacity by the end of that year, but the country has failed to put any steel in the ground until now.

The government has said it is taking wind measurements across the country to determine the best sites for future developments.

Republished from SolarServer and Windpower Monthly

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