Chile reaches 1.1 GW-AC of installed solar PV

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The capacity of solar PV in Chile reached 1.102 GW-AC at the end of March in Chile, which represents an increase of 46 MW from February, according to the latest monthly report from Chile’s Center for Renewable Energy (CIFES).

According to the CIFES report the first quarter of the year saw an increase of around 254 MW-AC in Chile. With this, the nation maintains its position as the largest solar market in Latin America.

Among the projects which have been put into service is the 79 MW Pampa Norte PV plant by Enel Green Power. Additionally in February Grenergy announced that it had put into service the 3 MW El Olivo PV project.

Together, the capacity of non-conventional renewable energy (ERNC) projects in the nation reached a capacity of 2.9 GW-AC at the end of March. Among those, 2.5 GW – which represents around 12% of Chile’s generation capacity – has entered into commercial operation.

Generation from ERNC, which excludes large hydro, totaled around 655 gigawatt-hours (GWh) in March, representing around 10% of electricity production during the month.

It is planned that this volume of generation will more than double under mandates set by new legislation. In Chile, this legislation establishes an objective of 20% renewable energy in 2025, and sets intermediate goals in the years preceding this date.

2.7 GW-AC of ERNC projects are under construction and are expected to enter into operation between April 2016 and August 2018. Of those, solar PV represents nearly 2.1 GW.

Additionally, more than 19 GW-AC of ERNC projects have received environmental approval, of which more than 11 GW corresponds to PV plants, and more than 8 GW ERNC projects which have reached the first stage of the process. Of these, more than 5 GW are PV projects.

Many renewable energy projects are participating in electricity supply auctions for regulated off-takers. Recently, the date for presentation of bids was deferred for the largest solicitation of this type to date. Auction 2015/01 will take place at the end of July instead of April, as was previously planned.

This article was translated by Christian Roselund. For the original in Spanish, please see the pv magazine Latinoamérica website.