A whole lot of sun shines down on the Atacama Desert in the north of Chile, which makes it pretty ideal for solar energy generation. This logic has not been lost on Spain’s Abengoa or its partner in the project, EIG Global Energy Partners, who are constructing a solar complex consisting of both PV and solar thermal.
The whole project is solely owned by EIG Global Energy Partners, who reached an agreement in October with Abengoa for the Spanish company to act as EPC and to conduct operations and maintenance on the project. This week, Abengoa announced that it will immediately commence with the construction work on the PV section of the project.
The entire facility is made up of a 100 MW PV plant and a 110 MW solar thermal plant, which will both feed electricity into the Chilean grid, once it is completed. Abengoa has forecasted that work on the PV plant should be concluded in 2017, with expectations that it will start commercial operation in the second quarter of the year.
One of the reasons that the Atacama Desert was chosen is that it receives the highest concentration of solar radiation of anywhere in the world, meaning that the owners of the plant should get a lot of bang for their buck. Abengoa announced that it will continue to work with EIG throughout 2017, while eluding to advanced negotiations for further operations in the year.