Chile: environmental approval sought for almost 300 MW

Santiago-based Desarrollos Fotovoltaicos de Chile (DFC) submitted a pair of DIAs for 98 MW Huatacondo and 98 MW Willka, while Andes Mainstream also applied for environmental licensing of its 104 MW Azapa photovoltaic project.

The US$196 million Huatacondo plant will be built 100 kilometers south of Pozo Almonte, in Pozo Almonte province, in the northern Chilean region of Tarapacá. Meanwhile, $196 million Willka will be installed 17 kilometers east of Arica, in Arica province, in the northernmost Chilean region of Arica y Parinacota.

Both DFC-owned solar plants will supply electricity to Chile’s northern electricity grid SING during 20 years of useful life.

Huatacondo and Willka will have an identical composition, as each will consist of 49 photovoltaic blocks. Each 2 MW generation block will consist of four 500 kW Kaco-manufactured invertors Powador XP500-HV TL associated with 8,800 Isofotón ISF-250 photovoltaic modules. This means that each solar plant will have 431,200 photovoltaic modules.

Huatacondo and its associated 220kV transmission line and substation, will be situated on an area of 242 hectares, while Willka and its associated 66kV transmission line and substation, will be situated on an area of around 143 hectares.

Construction of DFC’s Huatacondo and Willka is scheduled to begin in June and July 2013, respectively. Start of commercial operations is expected eleven months later.

Meanwhile, Andes Mainstream’s Azapa photovoltaic park is estimated to cost $210 million to develop and it will also be installed in Arica province, in Arica y Parinacota region. The plant will consist of 479,736 280W solar panels, as well as of a substation and a medium-voltage transmission line that will feed electricity into the SING grid.

Polycrystalline solar panels for Azapa will be produced in China “and the likeliest supplier will be SunTech”, according to the DIA. Construction of the project is expected to start in October 2013 and will last 10 months. The plant is expected to produce 210 GWh of electricity per year.

Andes Mainstream is a joint venture of Chilean renewable energy firm Andes Energy and Irish renewable energy developer Mainstream Renewable Power.