SunPower commissions 100 MW solar park in Chile

The President of the Republic of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, has officially inaugurated the El Pelícano solar power plant, which will supply electricity to Metro de Santiago.

The solar park, which is owned by the U.S. PV module manufacturer, SunPower, a subsidiary of French oil company Total, has a capacity of 100 MW and is located on an area of 186 hectares in La Higuera, the Chilean region of Coquimbo.

The facility will supply the Metro of the country’s capital city, Santiago de Chile with power and will cover 42% of the electricity consumption of this transport infrastructure.

The annual generation of electricity that the plant will supply to the Metro through a long-term PPA is estimated at around 300 GWh per year. “The Santiago Metro will thus be the first in the world to operate with 60% of energy from solar and wind power. No other metro has incorporated such a magnitude of unconventional renewable energy in its consumption,” said President Bachelet at the plant’s opening ceremony.

Transelec, the main Chilean electric transmission company, acquired the Don Hector substation, which is located near the solar park, from SunPower for an amount of €17.8 million in September. According to the U.S. company, the substation has an additional capacity that can allow for the realization of other large-scale solar projects in the region.

The project’s required investment is approximately $250 million.