The noted renewable-energy technology developer Abengoa recently announced its intent to construct a 110 MW concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in the South American country of Chile.
The project — which represents the first CSP development in the country — recently received the go-ahead from Chile’s Ministry of Energy and government agency for entrepreneurship (COFO) when Abengoa was awarded the tender for the 110 MW molten salt power technology plant.
The CSP plant will utilize integrated molten salt power technology — thereby providing an onsite means of energy storage for the plant. To be precise, the molten salt technology will allow for around 17.5 hours of electricity generation without direct solar radiation.
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A subsidy of US $20 million in government funding is being provided for the project, and access to US $500 million in additional funding from the IDB, Clean Technology Fund and the German development bank KfW and the European Union. COFO and the ministry held a competition for the construction of the first floor of the tower, with Abengoa Solar winning over US company, Solar Reserve.
The project, named Cerro Dominador, will be built in María Elena, Antofagasta Region, with 10,600 mirrors arranged in a circle area of two and a half miles to shine sunlight onto a central tower 243 feet high. The plant will be owned by Minera El Tesoro, part of the mining group Antofagasta Minerals, and will help meet Chile’s renewable energy ambitions for 20% renewable energy by 2020.
Speaking about the project, the Chilean Minister of Energy, Jorge Bunster Betteley, stated that it “will allow the use of the natural resources we have and diversify the mix of electricity generation. We will allow greater energy independence and reduce emissions”.
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