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IDB backs Mexico's largest wind project with $72m loan

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is backing construction of what will be Mexico’s largest wind farm with up to $72m of loan finance.

The IDB will release the money to Mareña Renovables Capital, the consortium developing the 396MW project in the La Ventosa region of Mexico’s Oaxaca state.

The work will include construction of a 52km transmission line to link the site with Mexico’s grid.

The wind farm is due to supply some of its output to plants operated by beer producers Femsa and CCM-Heineken under power-purchase agreements.

The IDB gives no details of schedules for the project, which has been under development since 2003.

The Mareña Renovables consortium is led by Australia’s Macquarie Group.

Macquarie said in March that it had lined up Danish wind turbine group Vestas to supply 3MW turbines to the project and handle ongoing service and maintenance.

Though it confirmed it had held discussions with the consortium, Vestas said no firm deal had been signed.

Oaxaca is said to hold some of the world's best wind resources, and the IDB has already part-financed two projects there with a combined capacity of 318MW.

Spanish wind power giant Acciona Energy is in the final stages of commissioning three facilities in Oaxaca, with a total capacity of 306MW.