The unexpected benefits of replacing tobacco plantations with solar farms

Although tobacco consumption is the key cause of avoidable deaths worldwide, its cultivation remains the main source of income for many farmers. Now, two researchers from the Michigan Technological University claim that converting tobacco fields to solar farms could be beneficial for two purposes: reducing deaths and helping solar energy fight climate change.

Tesla shows interest in Chilean lithium

The head of the Chilean Economic Development Agency (Corfo), Eduardo Bitran said that Tesla may partner with local lithium manufacturer, SQM in the construction of a factory. The Chilean government and SQM have recently settled a dispute that began in 2014.

US solar tariffs: Korea to file WTO petition, Mexico considers legal action, module costs to increase

As anticipated, the fallout from U.S. President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs of up to 30% on solar imports has been big. The latest reactions include the Korean Government’s announcement that it will file a petition with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Mexico’s promise of legal action. BNEF, meanwhile, expects module costs to increase by US$0.10/W.

Fotowatio closes financing for 342 MW of solar in Mexico

The solar unit of UAE-based Abdul Latif Jameel Energy will build the giant PV plant in the Mexican state of San Luis de Potosí. The facility is expected to start delivering power in 2019.

Fotowatio to build large-scale hybrid wind-solar facility in Chile

The project was selected by the Chilean government in November’s renewable energy auction.

Finnfund provides $15 million financing for 100 MW El Salvador PV project

The Finnish development financier has granted a loan of $15 million dollars for the construction of 10 solar power plants in El Salvador. The projects are expected to be fully operational by 2019. Overall, they will have a capacity of 100 MW.

Latin America’s largest PV project comes online

The Villanueva III projects, part of the 754 MW Villanueva complex, has started to inject power to the Mexican grid nine months ahead of schedule. Part of the solar park is still under construction by Italian energy company Enel.

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Chile launches tender to assign up to 2,456 hectares of public land for solar, RE

Interested developers will have time until February 7, 2018, to submit their projects proposals. All of the tendered areas are in Chile’s northern region of Atacama.

Argentina allocates 556.8 MW of PV in third round of RenovAr program

The lowest bid among the selected solar projects was confirmed at US$40.44/MWh. The average price of all the 66 qualified offers for PV was $43.5/MWh.

Soltec provides trackers for Scatec’s 162 MW solar project in Brazil

Around 5,300 trackers will be installed at a plant that Scatec Solar has developed in the Brazilian state of Ceará. With this project, Soltec has supplied a total of 909 MW worth of trackers in the country, and 1.7 GW in Latin America.