Abstract This paper presents some technical details, operational experiences, and lessons learnt by the Colombian public utility – Empresas Públicas de Medellín – with a recently installed 19.5 MW wind park in the northern region of Colombia – province of La Guajira. This is the first ever wind park feeding to the electricity network in Colombia. The Jepirachi Wind Park was commissioned in April 2004 and it has to date accumulated nearly 180,000 h of operation. During that time 15 NORDEX N60/1.3 MW turbines have fed electricity to the Colombian main electricity grid. This work describes the park layout, including meteorological stations installed in the surroundings and the wind regime prevailing in the zone. Details are also given about remote monitoring of the Wind Park and individual turbines, through the Supervisory, Control and Data Acquisition system (SCADA Nordex Control 2). Since July 2004, Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EEPPM) and Universidad de Los Andes-Bogotá, Colombia have been working together in a wind park performance monitoring programme. This has permitted both institutions to learn more rapidly matters relating to evaluation, planning and operation of wind parks exposed to extreme climatic conditions like those present in the semi-desert region of the Guajira. This work describes the wind park operation, where individual wind turbines have yielded monthly production capacity factors as high as 65–75%; values which are high when compared to similar turbines installed elsewhere. Accordingly, levels of electrical energy production of up to 1750 kWh/m 2-year per turbine have been measured, exceeding typical values reported in the wind energy literature. A series of operational and technical troubles have become evident, which are related to some of the particular features of the climate and the wind regime at the site of the Jepirachi Wind Park. Because of these local features it is suggested that a greater level of uncertainty (limiting the validity of methods and hypotheses) may exist in the study and planning of future wind parks in regions such as La Guajira.