The Chilean Environmental Evaluation Service (SEA) has already approved 4 GW of new solar powered projects, and according to a new report published by the Chilean Center for Renewable Energy, the SEA is also currently reviewing another 2.2 GW of solar projects.
Chile’s current solar power capacity sits at a measly 3.5 MW, with another 69 MW in current construction. These figures pale in comparison, however, to the approved and pending total of 6.2 GW.
Apparently, a total of 649 MW of applications were submitted to the SEA in May alone, at the same time that the SEA approved another 764 MW of total capacity.
Some of the latest projects to come under review by the SEA include the 260 MW Alpha Solar project from Chilean firm Pleiades SA and the 90 MW Solar Pampa Norte plant, which is being developed by Spanish group Ingenostrum. The SEA also recently approved the 52 MW Parque PV Diego de Almagro project in the northern Atacama region municipality of Diego de Almagro, which is being developed by local group Emelda SA.
Earlier this year, the Chilean National Energy Commission (CNE) released a report stating that the country aimed to add 2.2 GW of new solar power installations to its grid over the next 15 years. Looks like they were hedging their bets, somewhat.
According to the report, a large percentage of the solar power is targeted at energy-intensive mining companies operating in the northern region of the country, where a few solar power developers have already signed power purchase agreements with mining operators in the region.
All in all, the continued expansion of the solar industry in countries outside of the stereotypical western power blocs is encouraging, especially as European and other regions start to scale back on the incentives being offered to renewable developers.
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