The around US$90 million La Tirana Solar project, backed by solar energy developer Solar Chile, will be built in the Tamarugal province in the northern Chilean region of Tarapacá. Construction is scheduled to begin in March 2013, while the start of commercial operations is expected next September.
When complete, it will supply an estimated 90.34 GWh of electricity to Chiles northern electricity grid SING, according to the environmental qualification decision published by SEA.
Overall, the plant will be comprised of 423,360 First Solar FS3 cadmium telluride thin film 90W photovoltaic modules, a 66kV transmission line and substation, all of which will be situated on an area of around 132 hectares.
Solar Chile is a utility-scale solar systems developer with a mission to convert the high solar resource of Chiles Atacama Desert into a competitive and sustainable energy source. The Santiago-based company designs, builds and operates photovoltaic plants that provide clean electricity to large off takers, primarily mining operations.
In a separate development, Santiago-based SunEdison Chile initiated environmental licensing of its 93.65 MW Llano de Llampos photovoltaic project in Copiapó community, in the northern Atacama region, on November 15.
The new solar plant will cost around $241 million to build and will comprise 304,848 photovoltaic modules, according to the EIS submitted to SEA. SunEdison Chile will install 330Wp MEMC-330 polycrystalline modules produced by MEMC/SunEdison. The Llano de Llampos developer will additionally install RPS 1460TL invertors produced by Bonfiglioli and one-axis Apollo Tracker AP90 horizontal trackers.
The project also includes the construction of a 9km transmission line to connect the plant to the 220kV Cardones Cerro Negro Norte transmission line that belongs to the countrys central electricity grid SIC.
Llano de Llampos will be located on an area totaling 306.7 hectares and is expected to have a useful life of 25 years.