Colbún acquires First Solar’s 150 MW solar project in northern Chile

Chilean power provider, Colbún has acquired the 150 MW Sol de Tarapacá solar project, located in the Pozo Almonte community in the Chilean region of Tarapacá.

According to the company, the operation is part of its plan to increase the amount of renewable energy from a variable source in its generation mix.

It acquired the project from U.S. thin film PV module producer, First Solar. Neither the transaction amount, or further technical project details were revealed.

“The acquisition of this project is in line with our strategy of incorporating solar and wind energy sources into our generation portfolio and strengthening the company’s position in terms of future energy supply for our customers and the country,” said Colbún general manager, Thomas Keller.

“Colbún is a company that is committed to growth and opening up to new opportunities for expansion, and the agreement with First Solar is an example of this vision,” he added.

According to Chile’s environmental authority, SEIA, the Sol de Tarapacá project is planned to be developed thanks to an investment of approximately US$305 million, and will inject electricity into the Interconnected System of the Norte Grande (SING).

Colbún is one of the four electric companies that forms the association of Chile power providers “Generadoras de Chile”, together with French energy giant, Engie, Italian utility, Enel and U.S. company, AES Gener. At the end of January, all of these companies agreed not to build more coal plants and to gradually close existing ones in Chile.

In May 2015, Colbún awarded a contract to French group, Total and its subsidiary, SunPower for the long-term supply of electricity for a 164 MW PV project.

Furthermore, it also began construction of the Ovejería PV plant in the Metropolitan Region last year, which is scheduled to start up in the coming months.