German, Austrian firms collaborate on 98 MW Chile solar farm


A 98 MW solar power plant in northern Chile developed by AustrianSolar Chile SpA has leaned on German independent law firm Oppenhoff & Partner for legal and contractual advice regarding an acquisition by a Japanese-led consortium.

The Huatacondo plant – a $196 million project located in 100 kilometers south of Pozo Almonte in the Chilean region of Tarapacá – was initially developed by Santiago-based Desarrollos Fotovoltaicos de Chile (DFC), with France’s Eiffage Group then assuming EPC duties on the plant, which was commissioned and originally owned by AustrianSolar Chile SpA.

Oppenhoff & Partner has drafted the EPC and O&M contracts for the plant, and has also acted as an intermediary between AustrianSolar Chile and  the project’s new sponsor and owner – a Japanese consortium led by Sojitz Corporation – over the past few months .

The Huatacondo solar plant will join another 98 MW installation (the Willka PV plant owned by DFC) in supplying clean solar energy to Chile’s northern electricity grid SING via a 20-year PPA.

Both plants will be constructed as 49 individual ‘blocks’ of 2 MW each, with Huatacondo covering an area of 242 hectares.

Solar has begun to boom in Chile. The government has set an ambitious target of sourcing 70% of its power needs from renewables by 2050, and as such the nation’s PV sector is attracting interest from a raft of global companies eager to establish a foothold in the nation.

AustrianSolar Chile, as one example, identifies greenfield projects and those in the early stage of development, bringing its European expertise to the development process.