Texas, United States — Arctas has sold its 47.5% joint controlling interest in the 63-megawatt (MW) Amayo I and Amayo II wind projects in Nicaragua to AEI, one of the largest emerging markets power and gas companies. The amount of the transaction is undisclosed, but the two-phase Amayo project represents an investment of approximately US $150 million, among the largest privately developed energy investments in Central America.
Amayo 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 country now joins Denmark, Portugal and Spain on the list of the top five of countries that generate power from wind as a percentage of their total electricity production.
“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,” said David Haug, managing director of Arctas.
Arctas and Centrans brought on-line the first 40-MW phase of Amayo in early 2009 and the second 23 MW in April 2010. Located on the shores of Lake Nicaragua south of Rivas and 11 kilometers north of the Costa Rican border, Amayo enjoys one of the best wind resources in the North American continent.
The Amayo project has helped lower electricity prices for the country in addition to providing environmental benefits. Unlike wind projects in the U.S. and Europe, Amayo does not receive government price subsidies, yet is currently selling power at a price more than forty percent lower than the average wholesale spot price over the past four years.