The Spain-based renewable energy developer Acciona Energia will soon be entering the Chilean market — with its debut being the development of the 7.2 MW first phase of a 300 MW “mega-project” being built in the country’s extremely sunny Atacama Desert.
Image Credit: Flag via Flickr CC
Acciona Energia will take care of the engineering, the procurement processes, and the construction services, for the developer of the Pampa Camarones Solar Park — the power utility E-CL, a GDF Suez subsidiary. After the power plant is completed, the company is contracted to operate and maintain it for the first two years.
The project is slated to be connected to Chile’s SING grid, which powers the northern part of the country — with the aim being to eventually produce around 18 GWh of electricity annually.
Acciona Energy Chile’s general manager, Alfredo Solar, commented on the project: “We are very pleased to be working with E-CL so that Chile can take advantage of its enormous solar power potential and make progress towards the implementation of a more sustainable energy system, based on non-conventional renewables that are completely viable in sites like the one where this project is located.”
Including the first phase, the Pampa Camarones Solar Park project is expected to cost upwards of $600 million in total.
Chile’s solar energy capacity is set to grow rapidly in the coming years thanks to a number of projects currently in the development pipeline. Among the most notable are Abengoa’s 100 MW Cerro Dominador CSP plant; Enel Green Power’s 100 MW development pipeline in the country; and SunEdison’s 100 MW Amanecer solar power plant in the Atacama Desert.
In related news, the global private equity investment giant KKR recently committed to purchasing a 33% stake in Acciona Energy International, for €417 million ($567 million). KKR’s interest in Acciona Energy International no doubt owes much to the fact that the company currently owns “an impressive 2,300 MW renewable energy assets across 14 countries, including some of the most attractive markets.”
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