Chile: "Largest" PV plant completed

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Located at La Huayca in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, the 1.4 MW plant has been generating energy for the region’s mining and other heavy industries since the end of August. It is owned and operated by Germany-based Saferay GmbH and Chile’s Seltec Ingeniería. Meanwhile, GE has supplied 2 outdoor PV inverters and other equipment, including medium-voltage switchgear and transformers.

A spokesperson for GE told pv magazine that there are plans to expand the plant’s capacity to 25 MW by Q2 2013. They added that the company is in negotiations with Saferay regarding further equipment deliveries.

Commenting on the news, Juan Fernández, head of project management, Saferay said, "The Chilean government’s policy is that industry must source at least 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, otherwise financial penalties will apply. That means this plant has to perform reliably and efficiently on a long-term, consistent basis."

At the end of this March, juwi and Kaltemp announced the completion of a 1.2 MW photovoltaic project near the city of Vicuña. Meanwhile, it has been reported by Chile’s online environmental licensing database SEIA, which is managed by the Chilean Environmental Evaluation Service (SEA), that photovoltaic applications worth 2.4 GW have been submitted in 2012. It is believed, however that a number of these will not go ahead.