China, Argentina boost green energy cooperation
In southeast Patagonia's Chubut province, between the towns of Rawson and Trelew, Chinese companies Power China and Goldwind aim to harness the power of the region's buffeting winds to generate energy at the Loma Blanca I, II, III and VI wind farms.
Argentina passed a law calling for 8 percent of the nation's energy output to come from renewable and clean resources, a goal companies like Power China can get behind.
In addition, the project to transform Argentina's energy sector is in keeping with China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a scheme to spur global growth by helping countries like Argentina upgrade infrastructure, boost energy output, and strengthen trade cooperation.
The two countries' strategic cooperation is helping Argentina meet its energy targets, said Gabriel Hernandez, field manager of Power China.
"I think it's viable to reach the country's (alternative) energy goals, because today a large number of wind farms are in operation and many solar parks are under construction, often with Chinese input," Hernandez told Xinhua on a recent tour to the sites.
"I believe that of the percentage of new energy sources that Argentina needs, China is contributing a great deal and a large portion," added Hernandez.
Loma Blanca is set to inject 256 megawatts (MW) of electricity into the national grid via 80 wind turbines.
"At Loma Blanca I and III, they have laid the concrete for three turbine bases, and we estimate that the first six wind turbines will arrive soon to begin their installation. At Loma Blanca VI, we are opening up the roads," said Hernandez.
Considered one of the world's largest energy development companies, Power China is taking part in other projects around the country, including five solar parks being built in the northwest provinces of Jujuy and Salta with a total investment of 1 billion U.S. dollars, and a wind farm in Miramar, a city located 470 km away from the capital Buenos Aires.
The Loma Blanca project is scheduled to be completed by December after a year and a half of nonstop construction, from the topographic surveys to clearing and leveling the land and installing the turbines.
Loma Blanca I will have 16 turbines, farms II and III will feature 32 and Loma Blanca VI, the largest of the wind farms and the one closest to the tourism resort of Puerto Madryn, will have 32.
The high-powered wind turbines were designed and built by Goldwind, a Chinese company with more than 20 years of experience in its field.
Hernandez described the performance of turbines already in operation as "excellent."
"The technology seems to me to be top-notch. Goldwind's turbines are China's best and they have nothing to envy from other types of turbines," he added.
The BRI is "an excellent initiative" that is proving essential to bilateral cooperation, allowing technical personnel from China and Argentina to exchange experiences and work as a team, he noted.