Chile: IADB considers $21 million of financing for 26 MWp of PV

The IADB included both Solarpack’s 25 MWp Pozo Almonte project and its previous one MWp Calama Solar 3 project in the initial stage of its financing pipeline, on October 9. IADB will now decide whether to approve the Spanish company’s request for approximately $21 million.

If granted, the financing would represent around one-quarter of the project’s $80 million total cost. The remaining funds are expected from the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in the Americas (C2F), an (unspecified) export credit agency, and other multilateral development banks and/or commercial banks.

Solarpack’s project consists of the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the 25 MWp Pozo Almonte for mining company Compañía Minera Doña Inés de Collahuasi (Collahuasi); and of the operation and maintenance of one MWp Calama Solar for state-run copper mining company Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco).

The IADB environmental and social strategy document for the project reveals that the larger 25 MWp photovoltaic project has been divided into two smaller plants – Pozo Almonte 2 and Pozo Almonte 3 – expected to be located across roughly 52 hectares and 126 hectares, respectively. They are scheduled to come online in late 2013.

The development of the project calls for the: erection of approximately 86,000 photovoltaic modules with a combined capacity of 25 MWp; the construction of two 13.8 kV transmission lines to connect the facilities to the national grid; several smaller underground electrical lines within the project area; and construction of maintenance and service roads exiting the highway and within the photovoltaic facilities.

Construction activities have an expected duration of approximately eight months. The inclusion of the one MW Calama Project will be reviewed during IADB’s due diligence stage.

In July, SolarPack was awarded a 20-year PPA by Collahuasi for its Pozo Almonte project. Meanwhile, the company will sell the generated energy from its 1 MWp Calama project to Codelco for its Chuquicamata mine operations under a 21 year PPA.

Securing financing is said to be one of the biggest hurdles to rolling out photovoltaic projects in Chile. Watch out for the November edition of pv magazine for more details.

Edited by Becky Beetz.