Atlas plugs in 110 MW solar park in central Chile

Atlas Renewable Energy, a renewable energy company owned by the British fund Actis, announced the connection to the grid of the PV plant Quilapilún in the municipality of Colina, near Santiago, Metropolitan Region, central Chile.

According to the company, this is the first solar project in Chile that was awarded a PPA in an auction held by local power distributors in 2014 and the first project with this kind of contract that received financing in the country. The company hopes that the facility will produce approximately 243 GWh of electricity per year.

The power station has a capacity of 110 MW and is connected to the Central Interconnected System (Sistema Interconectado Central – SIC) and has more than 350,000 solar modules distributed on a surface of 288 hectares.

In August 2015, Spanish company Eiffage Energía had secured the contract to build the plant by U.S. solar company SunEdison, which at the time owned the project.

Sunedison had announced the beginning of work for the project in July 2015. At the time, the company also closed financing in non-recourse debt for the plant. Financing for the project was arranged via a $160 million long-term, non-recourse debt arrangement with Chile’’s largest commercial bank, CorpBanca, as well as Norway’s largest financial services group DNB.

Atlas said it is planning to invest around $525 million in solar projects in Chile, Mexico, Brazil and Uruguay, and that it aims to deploy around 1.5 GW in the mid-term. In Chile, the company already owns solar plant Javiera, of which it acquired a final 40% stake from local mining company Antofagasta Minerals in late May. The 69.5 MW project was completed by the U.S. company SunEdison in 2015. The installation, which is connected to the Antofagasta Minerals’ copper mine through the Central Interconnected System, covers around 14% of the power needs of the facility.