Dino Barajas Quoted on South American “Wind Rush”
Dino Barajas, a Los Angeles-based partner in Akin Gump’s global project finance practice, was quoted in Power Engineering International’s article “Wind rush sweeps across South America.”
In a discussion of why South America’s wind energy market is so active, Barajas, a 15-year veteran of renewable energy work in the region, notes, “Within the last three months, it has multiplied exponentially. You are seeing even the small wind developers looking at the Latin American market.”
Discussing the rise of wind power in Brazil, he notes, “It is much more cost-effective to build a wind development” than traditional energy infrastructure.
Chile’s raw materials boom in the metals sector has driven demand for energy in those inaccessible places where the mines are located. Enter wind power: “From a government point of view, promoting renewable energy is much more cost efficient than trying to wire up the entire country,” Barajas notes. “Rather than building a 300 mile [480 km] transmission line, you can site a 100 MW wind project and augment it with a solar development or some other technology to smooth out the production curve. This makes a lot more sense than building a transmission line to a remote part of the country to power a mine that that may be in existence for only 20 to 30 years.”
Discussing Chile’s need for dependable energy sources, Barajas states, “A large copper mine wants a dependable source of energy at a predictable price and from a resource that isn’t going to be subject to global politics.”
Barajas notes with regard to uncertainty in the U.S. wind market due to the possible expiration of the production tax credit, “A lot of development companies were focusing on the US and putting all of their eggs in one basket. Now they are facing uncertainty in their prime target market. They know they will have idle hands in their development team if they don’t look at another market.”
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