New wind farm in Santa Ana will go into service Thursday

The Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz, S.A. will put into service Thursday its wind farm in Pabellón de Santa Ana with a ceremony involving dignitaries.

The 17 wind generators are designed to provide enough electricity to feed 5,700 homes.

The wind farm is part of a government strategy to use the windy months of the Costa Rican summer to augment the generating capacity of the various hydro plants when the water level is low. These would be from December until about May, depending on the year.

The turnkey project was done with a German firm and financed by the Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica. The project has the support of the municipality of Santa Ana, said the electric company.

Officials also hope that by using wind instead of petroleum-fired generators during the dry season that amount of carbon dioxide released into the air will be lessened. Electric generation, mostly by the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, known as ICE, has become expensive as the price of petroleum increases.

ICE has a large wind complex that has been in service for years at Tilarán in Guanacaste near Lake Arenal.

The government and the electrical utilities also are installing solar arrays to general power.

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