Uruguay’s need for imported fuel to run its power plants is expected to decline as more than 132 MW of new wind capacity comes on line by the middle of this year, reaching 450 MW by year-end.

According to state utility UTE, if an additional 100 MW becomes operational ahead of schedule, the nation’s energy and fuel import bill, which is expected to reach $880m in 2014, would be cut by $24m.

Development is on schedule to have 930 MW of wind power installed by mid-2015, 1120 MW by end of 2015, 1400 MW in the first half of 2016 and 1500 MW by the end of that year, according to the latest estimates by UTE.

Construction of the 65 MW Artilleros wind project in the Colonia department has started and is expected to come on line in September

It is being developed by Rouar, a joint venture between UTE and Brazilian power giant Eletrobras.

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