The Chilean government has announced that its new National Electric System, which has been created with the interconnection of the northern power grid SING to the central power grid SIC, is now operational.
According to the government, the new system will be responsible for the supply of energy to more than 97% of the national population, and will have an installed capacity of approximately 24,000 MW and a demand of 11,000 MW.
“Our country will not have to deal anymore with the absurd situation of having an electrical system in the region of Norte Grande, and a different one between Taltal and Chiloé. What we are doing today is to erase that border that abruptly interrupted the electric transmission, which increased prices and inefficiency,” said the President of the Republic of Chile, Michelle Bachelet during the inauguration ceremony of the new system.
The works for the interconnection, started in August 2015, were made thanks to a total investment of $700 million. The construction of the project, however, had to suffer several delays especially due to the serious difficulties of implementing the high voltage line which crosses the Atacama, Coquimbo and Valparaíso regions.
The government has underlined how the new system will now allow a more efficient electricity market and, above all, lower costs. What is certain is that the numerous PV plants installed in the very sunny north of the country, which are currently having problems with the sale of energy due to the congestion of the grid and very low sales prices to the spot market, could see their margins increase through the sale of electricity to other regions of the country.
The Interconnection of the SING and SIC power grids, in fact, was a key element allowing the solar energy produced in the north to flow towards the center of the country, where most of the electricity demand is concentrated.