Chile reaches 150 MW of installed solar with further 225 MW under construction

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Installed photovoltaic power saw remarkable growth in Chile last month. During February, the San Andres SunEdison solar park in the Atacama region began operation with a capacity of 48.2 MW, increasing the country’s cumulative PV capacity to 149.8 MW.

The volume of solar projects under construction also grew considerably in February. According to the latest monthly bulletin of the Renewable Energy Center, 225 MW of solar projects were under construction in February, up from 128 MW the previous month.

Overall, the combined capacity from renewable energy plants in operation in Chile has reached 1,352 MW. Chile’s Renewable Energy Center estimated that the cumulative power of these projects would range from 1,500 MW to 1,800 MW by the end of the year. In addition to the 225 MW of solar under construction there were also 585 MW of wind, some 85 MW of mini-hydro projects and about 32 MW in bioenergy projects under construction in February.

Furthermore, the Renewable Energy Center highlighted that the Ministry of National Assets recently launched a land tender. Much of the land on which the renewable energy plants are located in Chile is property controlled by the Ministry of National Assets, thus making tenders necessary to access such land. The ministry’s tender includes 14 lots in different regions.

There is a large volume of planned renewable energy projects in Chile. As of February there were 5,951 MW of solar projects that had already received environmental permits while another 3,953 MW of solar projects were awaiting approval.

The Renewable Energy Center also published a list of renewable energy plants currently in operation in the country. This year, in addition to the San Andres project, SunEdison’s 93 MW Amanecer Solar and the 2.9 MW Salvador RTS projects also went online.

Five other projects went into operation in 2012 and 2013. Last year the 2.2 MW El Aguila project and the 1 MW Solar Andacoll went into operation. In 2012, the 1.4 MW La Huayca, 1.1 Tambo Real and the 1 MW Calama 3 went online.