May 20th, 2010; AMAYO Wind Farm, Rivas, Nicaragua – Ashmore Energy International (AEI) has acquired a 47.5% interest in the Amayo I and Amayo II wind projects from the Arctas Capital Group LP.
The company has also acquired 47.5% interest in the Amayo II project form Centrans Energy Services Holdings, Inc. As a result, the company now holds 95% of Amayo I and Amayo II. Energia Eolica de Nicaragua SA owns the remaining 5% of the project.
David Haug, Managing Director of Arctas, stated, “Nicaragua may surprise people with the strong investment fundamentals compared to other emerging markets in addition to the fantastic wind resource and government enthusiasm for renewables.”
AMAYO Wind Farm, Rivas, Nicaragua is the largest wind plant in operation in Central America and the only one to be completed outside of Costa Rica. It will provide approximately eight percent of the total power consumed in Nicaragua. The 40MV Amayo I project came on-line in early 2009 and the second 23MW in April 2010. They are located on the shores of Lake Nicaragua south of Rivas and 11 kilometers north of the Costa Rican border, Amayo (the name of the area in Rivas) enjoys one of the best wind resources in the North American continent.
Amayo will save more than 400,000 barrels of imported fuel oil per year and will reduce CO2 emissions by around 175,000 tones per year.
Electricity produced by Amayo is sold under long-term contracts with Dissur and Disnorte; the two local electric utilities owned by Union Fenosa of Spain and are not tied to the price of oil. The Amayo project connects to the Nicaraguan grid, and the new interregional SIEPAC transmission line runs adjacent to the project site. Extending from Guatemala to Panama, SIEPAC will interconnect the six countries of Central America.
Other wind projects coming up are the 22 turbines planned by Blue Power & Energy S.A. (with a capacity to generate up to 1.8 megawatts (MW) per unit, 39.6 MW total as well as the ALBANISA project, a state-owned company, which will conduct a feasibility study to install a 40 turbines (80 MW) near AMAYO.