Spanish photovoltaic developer Abengoa has designed and built a 10-megawatt solar thermal plant for Minera El Tesoro, part of the Antofagasta Minerals mining group.
This is the first operational solar thermal plant in South America, and is located in the Antofagasta region of Chile.
The installation is spread over 6 hectares of land and is made up of over a thousand solar thermal collector modules.
The plant is expected to deliver heat every hour of the day thanks in part to the use of thermal energy storage. Given it’s location in the heart of mining country in the region, this is ideal, and Abengoa says it expects the plant to provide enough energy to replace 55% of the diesel fuel currently in use in the mining production.
Latin America’s Solar Future
This news comes hot on the heals of an NPD Solarbuzz report which predicted that Latin America and the Caribbean are set to become hotspots for solar photovoltaic demand in the following few years.
Given the desperate need for developing countries to pick up some of the renewable energy slack first world nations have let slide, news of installations such as these in Latin America is great news.
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