Construction underway at Enel’s 180 MW solar plant in Peru

Latin America has been making headlines over the last 18-months due to the huge solar PV projects that are being developed on the continent. The most recent one to get underway is Enel’s 180 MW plant in Peru, with construction starting on the site this week.

Enel’s local subsidiary, Enel Green Power Peru (EGPP), is developing the Rubi solar plant in the Moquegua District of Peru’s Mariscal Nieto Province. The construction is expected to take over a year, with commercial operation expected to commence in 2018, when it will have a huge installed capacity of 180 MW, making it by far the largest PV plant in the country.

The company is investing a cool USD 170 million in the construction, which will sell its energy to Peru’s Ministry of Energy and Mines on a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement at a price of USD 0.48 per MWh, and will be fed into the National Interconnected Power System (SEIN) through the Montalvo Substation. This is one of the cheapest contracts for PV in a country that does not offer tax breaks, but will benefit from the contract being agreed in U.S. dollars, so it won’t suffer from currency fluctuations.

“The start of construction of Enel’s first solar PV plant in Peru further strengthens and diversifies the Group’s presence in the country, and demonstrates our commitment to investing in the growth of the Peruvian renewable energy market,” commented Francesco Venturini, Enel’s Head of Global Renewable Energies. “We are proud to contribute our expertise to the development of clean energies in Peru, in this case through the sustainable use of the abundant solar resources available in the south of the country, where Rubi can also be a driver for development.”

The contract to develop the Rubi project was granted to Enel after the third renewable energy tender in the country that took place in 2015. There was 326 MW of renewable energy awarded in the tender, of which Enel received the entire solar PV quota for the 180 MW project. Previous to this tender, there had been a total of 96 MW of PV awarded in the country, spread across five projects, which are all operational.