First Solar is helping to boost Chile’s solar potential.
The Arizona thin-film manufacturer put in a bid recently for the 162 MW Luz del Norte project, according to Greentech Media.
Worth $370 million, construction of the Luz del Norte plant is scheduled to begin June, 2014 and use more than 1.7 million panels.
In order to put a foot in the Chilean solar industry, First Solar purchased earlier in 2013 Santiago-based developer Solar Chile, which had numerous projects in the early stages of development totaling 1.5 GW.
First Solar’s plans to go unsubsidized with its projects could help Chile reach its aim of 2.2 GW of solar energy within 15 years.
This gives it an advantage over other countries whose unsustainable subsidy programs had created boom bust solar markets, pointed out by Greentech Media:
Less-than-optimally-managed subsidy programs in Spain, Italy, and the Czech Republic have led to booms followed by busts. First Solar has declared its intent to supply sustainable markets, move away from subsidized markets, and to grow its construction projects relative to module sales. This move into Chile is an example of First Solar making good on that promise.
With Latin American & Caribbean solar markets expected to expand by an annual compound growth rate of 45%, Chile is ready as a leader in sustainable energy within the region. Brazil, Mexico, and Chile are expected to have 70% of all the solar energy market in the Latin American and Caribbean area by 2017.
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