NEXTracker completes 110 MW shipment to SunEdison Chile solar farm


U.S. solar tracking specialist NEXTracker has completed shipment of 110 MW of its Self-Powered Tracker (SPT) to a large-scale solar PV project in Chile.

The Quilapilun power plant is being developed by U.S. solar firm SunEdison and is to be the first utility-scale solar farm to be located in a densely populated urban region of the southern cone. The plant is being constructed within the metropolitan region of Santiago, Chile’s capital city, and already has a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) in place with the Sistema Interconectado Central (SIC) transmission system.

The region benefits from some of the world’s highest levels of solar irradiation, which makes the wide rotational range that comes as standard on the NEXTracker SPT ideal for such conditions. The company also claims that the install flexibility offered by the SPTs – which enjoy high slope tolerance and are self-grounding – deliver valuable savings on labor and materials, and also allow for 30% more PV modules per site.

The solar plant, once complete, is projected to generate 242 GWh of electricity annually, enough to meet the energy needs of 117,000 local households.

"Quilapilun represents a marvelous opportunity for NEXTracker to further demonstrate its industry-leading expertise in maximizing solar power plant capacity and performance," said NEXTracker CEO Dan Shugar.

Carlos Barrera, VP for Latin America at SunEdison, added that the use of SPTs should ensure faster completion and a higher yield for the Quilapilun plant. "NEXTracker and SunEdison have forged a highly effective collaboration that reinforces our position as a renewable energy development and technology leader in Latin America," he said.