The tall, white windmills that spin on the foothills of the Tilarán Mountain Range, over the northwestern province of Guanacaste, are now Costa Rican-owned.
The state-run Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) has purchased 22 of the windmills – which provide 20 megawatts of electricity to the national power grid from the Dutch company N.V Edon Groep, ICE announced recently in a statement. ICE already owned eight of the plant’s turbines.
The February purchase came after ICE leased the 22 windmills for five years. The wind power project, begun as a joint, public-private initiative, is now wholly in the hands of ICE. The state power company paid $13 million for the 22 windmills, according to the ICE statement.
On the national level, wind power makes up 1.3% of the national infrastructure. Wind power complements Costa Rica’s national infrastructure, of which 76.7% is hydropower. Hydroelectric plants produce less electricity during the dry season, when water levels go down, and windmills produce more electricity as the winds pick up, according to ICE.