Enel connects Latin America’s largest solar project to the grid

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Today Enel announced that it has connected the 160 MW Finis Terrae PV plant to Chile’s electrical grid. The project is the largest PV plant which has been completed to date in Latin America.

The project was built by subsidiary Enel Green Power Chile and holds a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA), according to a press release.

The plant is located in the Antofagasta Region of Northern Chile and is connected to the nation’s Northern Grid (SING). The project is expected to generate 400 gigawatt-hours annually. Enel has stated that the investment for this project is around US$270 million.

Enel has built multiple large PV plants in Chile, including the Lalackama 1 (60 MW) and the Chañares (40 MW) which are located in the north of the nation. Currently Chile has more than 1.1 GW-AC of installed solar PV.

In April, the company also announced that it had put the 79 MW Pampa Norte project in service. This project is also located in the Antofagasta Region but is connected to the Central (SIC) grid and supplies electricity under a PPA.

Meanwhile, at the first of the year the company announced that it had put into service the first 20 MW stage of the Carrera Pinto PV project, which is planned for a total of 97 MW. Enel has said that is plans to complete this project in the second quarter of this year.

Regarding other Latin American markets, Enel announced at the end of last year that it had begun work on another of the largest PV projects in the region, a 254 MW plant in Brazil.

Equally important is the company’s presence in the Peruvian and Mexican PV markets. In February, Enel was awarded a 144 MW PV project in Peru, and in March won nearly 1 GW of PV projects in a clean energy auction in Mexico.

There are currently around 2 GW of PV projects under construction in Chile, including plants larger than the Finis Terrae. Among these, Spain’s Acciona is currently building a 196 MW PV plant in Chile which it expects to put online in the middle of 2017.

Translation and additional reporting by Christian Roselund. The original in Spanish can be read on the pv magazine Latinoamérica site.