Features

Fernanda Errázuriz Latorre – UKA Chile y Cía

Legally helping renewable energy gain an electrifying foothold in Chile

As a German full-service developer founded in 1999, UKA Group covers the entire value chain of renewable energy projects. Its current project pipeline for wind and solar farms now exceeds 14 GW globally. With roughly 900 employees, the company is active in Europe and North America. Now leadership is seeking to expand in Chile and other Latin American countries.

Of course, a person with local experience and knowledge is needed for such an endeavor and UKA executives found exactly that in Fernanda Errázuriz Latorre. Her legal roots run deep through Chile. After receiving her law degree at Chile’s Adolfo Ibáñez University and a few years of moving from law firms to in-house counsel roles, she discovered her interest in energy and renewable resources. So, while working in 2014, she obtained a diploma from the University of Chile in electrical law and electrical regulation.

Fernanda Errázuriz Latorre | Senior Associate Attorney, Latin America | UKA Chile y Cía

Fernanda Errázuriz Latorre | Senior Associate Attorney, Latin America | UKA Chile y Cía

In 2021, the World Energy Council elected her for its program titled “Women in Energy,” which empowers women in the energy sector by giving them training and more tools to apply in the field.

In June 2022, three years after UKA Group started operating in Chile, she was hired as the senior associate attorney and oversees legal work in Panama and Chile where the company operates.

“Renewable energy is fast becoming a very competitive market in Chile, and my knowledge and experience is helping UKA stay ahead of the curve and a relevant player in the industry,” Errazuriz tells Vanguard.

The winds of change

According to Errazuriz, her main challenge is positioning UKA in the Chilean market and turning the company into a competitive player. To properly position the company, she provides legal advice on everything from compliance matters and electrical regulatory aspects to developing a strong corporate culture.

She explains she wants to create a strong legal and business framework to set the company up for growth.

“We need to be fast, competitive and transparent, so everyone from internal team members to our clients and government officials knows exactly what we’re doing and how we’re doing it,” she says.

She adds the Chilean government is deeply committed to reducing and eventually eliminating its carbon footprint—an honorable goal that is, according to Errazuriz, “complexing the market and the development of this project.” The government wants coal and diesel plants to be replaced with renewable, sustainable energy sources like the wind and solar farms UKA Group develops. She says this has motivated local and global companies to develop and implement solutions in the country.

Fernanda Errázuriz Latorre | Senior Associate Attorney, Latin America | UKA Chile y Cía

“Within a matter of a year or so, it’s become a highly complicated and competitive market, so we, UKA Chile y Cía, and particularly my team, need to be alert and move fast while staying true to our standards and mission,” she says.

Errazuriz’s local knowledge often comes into play here as she can ensure the company meets all laws, rules and regulations. This means less red tape and fewer delays in projects for UKA. As she also knows the proper channels, she can more quickly complete major parts of development projects, such as land deals for constructing wind or solar plants.

With many currently in different stages of development, UKA Chile y Cía continues growing its portfolio.

“We want to establish UKA in the local market as a relevant, successful and constantly evolving actor in the development, construction and operation of nonconventional renewable energy,” Errazuriz says.

Rays of hope across various countries

Errazuriz is involved with projects across Latin America, such as a 140 MW wind turbine project in Panama. Construction will begin in 2026 and when La Colorada Wind Farm is completed in 2028, it should produce enough energy to supply more than 60,000 households with renewable energy each year.

She’s particularly excited about the construction of the PV Llanos de Rungue Plains project, which will begin in 2025 and should be complete within two years. The solar project is currently in its development and environmental impact evaluation stages and should eventually produce 280 megawatts.

Fernanda Errázuriz Latorre | Senior Associate Attorney, Latin America | UKA Chile y Cía

Her excitement around these projects originates from her passion for energy, particularly renewable energy. She also appreciates UKA Group’s focus on developing and maintaining trust between itself and the countries and communities where it is working and building. The goal is to create a synergy between UKA and its stakeholders to support the area’s smooth transition to a more sustainable, environmentally friendly form of energy, she says.

She also enjoys expanding her legal and business knowledge. Through UKA, she has considerably increased her technical knowledge and looks forward to playing an active role in future large-scale international transactions.

“I am honored to apply my knowledge to such a worthy cause and for a company that has been dedicated to using renewable energy sources for over two decades in Europe,” Errazuriz says. “UKA is continually growing, and I look forward to how we can change the world for the better by developing good and competitive renewal projects for Chile and the rest of Latin America.”

View this feature in the Vanguard Fall II 2023 Edition here.

Published on: September 14, 2023

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