Chile: 400 MW of project applications submitted

03. January 2013 | Markets & Trends, Applications & Installations | By:  Vladimir Pekic

In an apparent confirmation of the results published by NPD Solarbuzz showing strong photovoltaic growth in Latin America, applications for environmental approval for projects in Chile continue to come in.

A photovoltaic array in Chile.

Applications for environmental approval for projects in Chile continue to be submitted.

In the last week of December Enel Latin América, a subsidiary of Italy's largest utility Enel, submitted requests for the environmental licensing of three photovoltaic projects totalling almost 400 MW to Chile’s environmental evaluation service (SEA).

The combined value of the 122 MW Sol de Lila, 143 MW Valle del Sol and 129 MW Lalackama solar projects that Enel plans for development in Chile’s northern Antofagasta region is US$865 million. These are the first three projects that Enel applied for in Chile.

The company plans to build Sol de Lila, worth US$285 million, on 357.7 hectares in Antofagasta community. The plant will be formed of 408,114 solar panels with single-axis trackers, distributed in 9,717 sections with 42 panels in each section. The area covered by the polycrystalline panels (type CNPV-300P) will amount to 278.0 hectares. The 123 inverters will be produced by SMA, or a “similar” manufacturer.

The completed plant is expected to generate 299 GWh of electricity per year that will be sold to Chile’s northern electricity grid (SING) via Andes substation, just 1.3km away from the plant.

The second proposed project, Valle del Sol, is worth an estimated USD330 million, according to Enel. The plant, which will be installed on an area of 367.1 hectares in María Elena community, will consist of 477,708 solar panels with single-axis trackers distributed in 11,374 sections with 42 panels per section. The area covered by polycrystalline photovoltaic panels (type CNPV-300P) will amount to 311.7 hectares.

Valle del Sol is expected to generate 341 GWh of electricity per year that will be sold to SING via Encuentro substation, located 4.5km from the plant. The 142 inverters will also be produced by SMA, or a "similar" manufacturer.

Finally, Lalackama solar plant is planned for development in the Taltal community with a price tag of USD250 million. The photovoltaic plant, which will be built on a 192 hectare land plot, will consist of 430,416 fixed photovoltaic panels, distributed in 15,372 sections with 28 panels in each section.

The polycrystalline photovoltaic panels will be of the "type CNPV-300P," while the 126 inverters will also be produced by SMA, or a "similar" manufacturer.

Lalackama will annually generate around 175 GWh of electricity that will be sold to Chile’s central electricity grid (SIC) via the Paposo – Diego de Almagro transmission line owned by Transelec.

Construction of Enel’s three photovoltaic plants, which will have useful lives of 25 years, is due to start on 31 October and will last 20 months.

SEA has until 22 March to announce a decision on the three applications submitted by Enel Latin América.


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