Acciona to build 247 MW solar farm in Chile

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Construction on Latin America’s largest solar farm is due to begin soon, confirmed Spanish solar company and EPC Acciona Energia, which has revealed it will build the El Romero Solar Plant in Chile’s Atacama Desert.

At 247 MW, the solar farm will dwarf the current largest plant in the region, and will also enter the global top ten in terms of PV output, Acciona has confirmed.

Investment in the project currently amounts to $343 million, and completion is scheduled for mid-2017, and will comprise the bulk of a commitment by Acciona to supply 600 GWh of renewable electricity to distribution concession holders in the Central Interconnected System (SIC) from 2018. The completed El Romero Solar plant will produce an estimated 505 GWh of solar energy annually as it enjoys the high insolation levels of Vallenar – a municipality some 645 km north of Chile’s capital, Santiago.

Spread across 280 hectares of some of the driest conditions on the planet, construction of the El Romero plant is a challenging undertaking, but one that Acciona Energia CEO Rafael Mateo says represents a "very significant milestone" for both the company, and the Latin America region.

"The plant will enable us to respond to our commitment to supply renewables-based power in Chile and strengthen our role in the country’s energy sector," he said. The plant will become Acciona’s largest solar array ever built, and will complement the Spanish company’s solitary renewable energy installation in Chile – a 45 MW wind farm located in Coquimbo.