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Interview: George Humphrey, Primary Development Counsel on El Arrayan project, Chile's Largest Wind Farm

Jul 13, 2012

60-Second Speaker Interview

George Humphrey
Andrews Kurth

Fresh from serving as primary development counsel and primary finance counsel to  Chile’s largest Wind Farm, the 115 MW El Arrayan Wind Farm in May, George Humprey of Andrews Kurth takes part in an interview with Green Power Conferences, ahead of September’s Chilean International Renewable Energy Congress in Santiago.

You are sponsoring and speaking at the event, what should people come to speak with you about on site?

Having just served as primary development counsel and primary finance counsel to the 115 MW Arrayan wind project, which closed financing in May of this year and now is under construction northeast of Santiago, we have cutting edge experience in helping developers get their renewable projects completed and financed in Latin America.  We have a strong renewable energy practice at Andrews Kurth and offer deep knowledge on how to structure PPAs, put together financeable project documents and find financing sources.  Developers, lenders and investors would benefit not only from our knowledge of the Chilean electric system and getting deals done in Chile, but from our understanding of the current international finance marketplace and skills in negotiating state of the art protections in project and finance documents.

If you could give one tip to developers who want to operate in Chile, what would it be?

The challenge with most renewable technologies is that they are intermittent and only generate when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining.  Offtakers, who are often industrials in Chile, typically need power provided at all times.  Understanding these competing needs and how to find middle ground in the PPA to properly allocate the risks between the generator and offtaker are the keys to getting a project across the finish line.

Who or what is driving the market?

Chile today may be the best place in Latin America to develop renewable energy.  Chile has a high investment grade rating, a stable government and a renewable energy credit program promoting the establishment of 20% renewables by 2020.  Chile also has a strong need for additional load, power prices are robust and there is relatively little renewable energy on the system.  Also, since renewable energy typically can be brought on line faster than conventional sources and is competitive with existing Chilean generation, renewable energy has the potential to quickly become an important part of Chile’s generation portfolio.

What impact has the Euro crisis had?

The Euro crisis has dramatically reduced the number of commercial banks currently available to fund projects, and also has indirectly caused the price of carbon to drop, reducing a modest revenue source.  The good news for Chile is that, unlike many countries in Latin America, a full slate of financing options are available, from commercial bank, institutional bond issurer and vendor financing to multilaterals, development bank and export credit agency fundings.

George joins almost 60 other speakers in September at the Chilean International Renewable Energy Congress in Santiago. He will be speaking about the El Arrayan project along with its key stakeholders:

Richard Romero, Vice President, Finance, AEI
Fernando Ferreyra,
Development Director, Pattern Energy
Nicolas Caussade Coudeu,
Procurement and Contracts Manager, Antofagasta Minerals  
Mario Larenas Gonzales,
Lawyer, Antofagasta Minerals

The event will attract 300 attendees working on Wind Power, Solar Power and Geothermal Power projects and sees an international delegation of expert financiers, developers, manufacturers and lawyers join together to progress the Chilean Renewable industry. Bookings made before 24th July will benefit from an early bird discount.



The information and views expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author and not necessarily those of or the companies that advertise on this Web site and other publications. This blog was posted directly by the author and was not reviewed for accuracy, spelling or grammar.

Renewable energy conference manager, passionate about a greener way to power our future.


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