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The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is financing the construction of two wind farms in Uruguay that will add 115 megawatts (MW) in new power generation capacity, reduce vulnerability to swings in hydropower production, cut the imported oil bill and reduce the country's annual carbon emissions by as much as 302,000 metric tons.

IDB6 December 2012: The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is providing two loans totaling US$107.7 million to construct wind farms in Uruguay, with a view to reducing the fossil fuel share of that country’s power generation mix and reducing carbon emissions.

Of Uruguay’s current 2.578 megawatt (MW) power generation capacity, about 60% is provided by hydropower, 33% from fossil fuels, and the remaining 7% from biomass and wind. During dry seasons when hydropower production drops, Uruguay relies more on power plants utilizing imported fossil fuels. The country has promoted expansion of wind power to reduce its vulnerability to swings in hydropower production, cut its hydrocarbon import bill and reduce its carbon footprint. The 115 MW in new generating capacity represented by the two wind projects financed by the IDB are expected to cut Uruguay’s annual carbon emissions by 302,000 metric tons.

One IDB US$66 million loan will go to WPE, a Brazilian renewable energy company, for the construction of the 65 MW El Libertador I wind farm near the city of Minas in Lavalleja Department and the installation of 44 Vensys IMPSA wind turbines. The second loan, for $41.7 million, goes to Abengoa S.A. to build the 50 MW Palmatir wind farm near the city of Achar in Tacuarembó Department and install 25 Gamesa wind turbines. Both wind farms will sell the power generated to the National Administration of Electrical Plants and Transmissions (UTE), the state-owned electricity company. [IDB Press Release]

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