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Published on February 26th, 2016 | by Guest Contributor

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Chile Achieves 1 Gigawatt Solar Power Capacity

February 26th, 2016 by  

Originally published on Sustainnovate.
By Henry Lindon

Chile Hits 1 GW Of Installed Solar PV Capacity Milestone

Chile recently surpassed the 1 gigawatt (GW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) project capacity milestone — with 1.013 GW of operational projects in the country, and another 165 megawatts (MW) expected to be installed shortly, according to new figures from the country’s National Center for Innovation and Promotion of Sustainable Energy (CIFES).

These figures include both projects in commercial operation and also those in the testing stages. In addition to the above-mentioned projects, another 2.195 GW of solar PV projects are under construction in the country.

In relation to this milestone, and more generally to the country’s overall solar PV capacity growth, the country’s grid interconnection to Argentina was recently restored, following several years of inactivity — with electricity exports to the country now resuming, according to the operator of Chile’s Northern Grid (SING).

The Chilean Energy Minister Máximo Pacheco commented on this re-activation of grid interconnection by stating that “the North of Chile is mining, fishing, and now the export of solar energy.”

The majority of the country’s solar PV development to date has been in the north, where solar insolation levels are highest, and industrial electricity usage is highest as well — hence the location of the grid interconnection there.

Photo by Rodrigo Arancibia Zamora (some rights reserved)

 
 
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  • Kevin McKinney

    Nice! I wonder if there’s a time series of Chilean solar capacity available somewhere? They seem to have been ramping up very quickly indeed–an important point for other developing economies. (Albeit Chilean governance is pretty good, compared with many.)

    • Magic omnibus7

      South America’s population distribution is more urban and centralised than Europe or N.America, so I presume in any given country solar capacity would either be stagnant or go through the roof depending on when each particular utility grid/govt decides to invest.

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