Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern Development) has expanded into the solar power market, signing a a 22-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with an affiliate of Antofagasta Minerals SA for its its Conejo Solar photovoltaic power project in Chile.
The 104 MW Conejo Solar project, which will be constructed some 30 kilometers east of Taltal in Chile’s Atacama Desert, was originated by Pattern Development, which expects the facility to be the largest solar energy project in Chile with a PPA upon completion.
"Solar is a terrific complement to our current wind activities and we will continue to grow in this market," said Pattern Development President and CEO Mike Garland. "We have been analyzing solar in Chile for some time and we view this area of the Atacama Desert as one of the best sites in the country with high radiation, which is very efficient due to the area’s low temperatures."
Minera Los Pelambres, an affiliate of Antofagasta Minerals, has a 22-year PPA for approximately 70% of the project’s output. Conejo Solar is 100% owned by Pattern Development. A third party has an option to buy a 30% stake in the project.
Conejo Solar will connect to the Sistema Interconectado Central’s (SIC) 220 kV transmission system and is located on public lands owned by the Chilean government with a long-term concession. The project has begun initial construction work and Pattern Development expects an end-of-year or early 2015 financial closing for the project, which has been added by affiliate company Pattern Energy Group Inc. to its Right of First Offer (ROFO) pipeline.
The project expands Pattern Development’s partnership with Antofagasta Minerals and broadens its presence in Chile following the company’s recent completion of El Arrayan Wind, Chile’s largest wind power facility. Minera Los Pelambres has a long-term agreement to purchase power produced by the El Arrayan Wind facility and also owns a minority interest in the wind plant.
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Pattern Development has offices in San Diego, Houston, New York, Toronto and Santiago, Chile.