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Acciona To Build Latin America’s Largest Solar Power Project In Chile

Acciona Energia has shared definite plans regarding the development of what is being branded at the largest solar power project in Latin America.

Acciona Energia will soon begin construction of a 246.6 MW solar PV power plant in the Atacama Desert, Chile. The El Romero Solar power plant is expected to be operational by mid-2017, and will be the largest solar power plant in South America, requiring an investment of $343 million.

Acciona had acquired the development of this project from Avenir Solar Energy, which had itself secured the rights to develop the project in 2013. The project will be spread over 280 hectares, and will consist of more than 777,000 crystalline solar PV modules. Once operational, the plant will be able to generate 505 GWh electricity, which is enough to meet the demand of around quarter of a million households, as well as offset greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 485,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Acciona already has a 45 MW wind energy project operational in Chile — the Punta Palmeras wind farm in Coquimbo — which means this newest addition will be a significant capacity increase in-country.

Chile has seen a sudden spike in foreign investments in its renewable energy sector, especially solar power, over the last few months. SunPower announced plans to set up 1 GW worth of solar power capacity in the country over the next 5 years, and earlier this year, EDF Energies Nouvelles and Marubeni announced that they would jointly develop a 146 solar PV power project in the country, which is expected to be one of the largest merchant solar power plants in the world. SolarReserve also has aggressive plans to set up large-scale hybrid solar power projects.

Chile has set a target to generate 20% of the country’s electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025.

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Written By

Smiti works as a senior solar engineer at a reputed engineering and management consultancy. She has conducted due diligence of several solar PV projects in India and Southeast Asia. She has keen interest in renewable energy, green buildings, environmental sustainability, and biofuels. She currently resides in New Delhi, India.


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