ENERGIA LIMPIA XXI. Solarcentury has been awarded the right to develop three utility-scale solar farms for a total of 1.04 GWp (963 MWac) by the Ministry of National Assets of Chile. In the tender, 11 sites owned by the State of Chile were consented for the development of renewable energy projects, attracting interest from key renewables companies from around the world; of the 11, Solarcentury won three, a larger share of sites in number and in size than any other developer.
Cristian Fuenzalida, Business Development Senior Manager for Solarcentury LATAM said: “The land we have secured in this auction represents some of the best land in the world to develop solar as it combines great irradiance with cool temperatures. The Chilean government has recognised the importance of solar in this time of climate and COVID-19 crisis. These projects will support the energy transition to zero carbon and – just as importantly – create much needed jobs.”
“The auction paves the way for development of the projects. Now that the land is secured for a period of 40 years, the permitting process can begin.” The remaining development phase is expected to take around three years.
The projects are all in the North of Chile in the heart of the mining region. The projects will operate without any form of Government subsidy and a rent will be paid to the Government for the use of the land. The combination of altitude and location means the solar resource is unmatched. Yield is expected to reach as much as 3,000 kWh/kWp.
The projects are in the Antofagasta and Tarapacá regions of Chile. Pintados near Pica in Tarapacá will be 314 MWp while Sureste de Calama with 185 MWp and Maria Elena Noreste with a capacity of 537 MWp will be located in Antofagasta region.
By MWac of capacity, these projects represent 37% of the consented projects. The total investment in the projects is expected to be in the range of $950m.
Frans van den Heuvel, CEO of Solarcentury: “Solar is playing a critical role in the transition from coal to renewables to power the industrial sector in Chile. This is an outstanding achievement for our team in Latin America who have delivered a market-leading result despite the challenges of the lockdown.”
Solarcentury is currently building 644 MWp of projects in Europe and has a global pipeline of 6 GWp. It was recently recognised as the fastest-growing privately-held renewables company headquartered in the UK.