Chile reaches 873 MW-AC of solar under construction

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2014 may be remembered in Chile as the year when large-scale deployment of solar went from idea to reality. At the beginning of the year, Chile’s Center for Renewable Energy (CER) reported only 6.7 MW-AC of completed PV projects, a number which has increased 50-fold by December to 326 MW-AC.

"2014 has been a breakthrough year, with multiple mining companies and distribution utilities coming to terms with the solar value proposition and signing long-term power purchase agreements,” GTM Research Solar Analyst Adam James told pv magazine. “(Chile) has also been one of Latin America’s most dynamic markets, with a very active pure-play developer market and numerous pipeline acquisitions.”

In November two large PV projects were commissioned in the nation: Total/SunPower and Etrion’s 68 MW-AC Project Salvador and SunEdison’s 72 MW-AC María Elena.

In its December report CER (renamed the Center for Innovation and Promotion of Sustainable Energy or CIFES) also finds that an additional 873 MW-AC of solar projects have begun construction, which includes both PV and concentrating solar power (CSP). This is a near-doubling from the 456 MW-AC of projects that were reported as under construction in November.

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