X-Elio plugs in 56.7 MW solar facility in northern Chile


Spanish solar company X-Elio, which was formerly known as Gestamp Solar, has completed construction on a 56.7 MW solar power plant near Antofagasta, in northern Chile.

The local ministry of energy representative Andrés Rebolledo said during the official commissioning ceremony that the plant is part of the country’s energy transition implemented by the government over the past years.

According to the Ministry of National Property, which granted the land for the projects, the installation has been connected to Chile’s northern grid system Sistema Interconectado Norte Grande through a new 110 kW line connecting the plant to the substation Uribe, which was created ad hoc for the project.

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The plant was constructed by Ortiz Construcciones y Proyectos S.A., the Chilean subsidiary of Spanish industrial group Ortiz. The company used 182,960 solar modules with an output of 315 W, 336 solar trackers and 24 inverters stations with a capacity of 2.2 MW for the plant.

Gestamp Solar was acquired and rebranded in X-Elio by UK-based investment firm Kohlberg Kraver Roberts & Co L.P. (KKR) in February 2016. The company acquired an 80% stake in the company for around $1 billion. At the time, KKR said it had set an ambitious goal for X-Elio to increase its solar PV portfolio from 300 MW to 2.5 GW. For the following two years at least, the company said, Japan was likely to prove fertile ground for solar expansion, while Mexico was also on its radar, as well as the U.K. (the company had targeted the acquisition of 60 to 100 MW of solar portfolios in the U.K.) and Chile, South Africa and countries in Southeast Asia.

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