More utility-scale PV projects receive environmental green light in Chile

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The approvals, signed by Jose Adolfo Moreno Correa, SEA’s regional director in Antofagasta, are of critical importance for the developers of the 127.87 MW Crucero Este and 160.36 MW Crucero Oeste plants, in order to obtain financing, grid connection permits and PPAs.

Helio Atacama Dos SpA plans to build the Crucero Este project, worth US$358 million in the María Elena, Tocopilla region. The plant is expected to cover an area of 470 hectares, and will consist of 532,800 240Wp solar panels and 2,960 inclined trackers when complete. Construction is due to start in November 2014.

Meanwhile, sister company Helio Atacama Uno SpA is developing the Crucero Oeste plant, worth $449 million, also in María Elena municipality. The plant will comprise 668,160 solar panels and 3,712 inclined trackers. Construction is scheduled to start next May.

The two plants are expected to generate electricity that will be sold to Chile’s northern electricity grid (SING) via a new 23kV/220kV substation, which is still to be built and connected to the Encuentro substation, owned by Transelec.

Earlier this year, SEA also gave a green light for the development of the 76.72 MW Laberinto Este project, worth $215 million, backed by Helio Atacama Tres SpA, and for the 69.8 MW Laberinto Oeste project worth $195 million, which will be developed by Helio Atacama Cuatro SpA.

The developers of these projects are all owned by Ingenostrum Chile, a local subsidiary of Spanish photovoltaic project developer Ingenostrum.

Watch out for the November edition of pv magazine for more detailed coverage of the Chilean market.