The Chilean environmental authority, Servicio de Evaluación Ambiental (SEA), has approved Solar Chile’s environmental impact statement (EIS) for its proposed 30.24MW thin-film PV plant.

The La Tirana Solar project will be built in the Tarapacá region in northern Chile and requires an investment of around US$90 million. It will be equipped with 423,360 FS3 cadmium telluride thin film 90 watt PV modules supplied by First Solar.

The project will also involve installing a 66kV transmission line and substation to feed the output into the region’s electricity grid Northern Interconnected System (SING). Indeed, the project is expected to generate 90.34 GWh of electricity every year.

Construction of the facility is scheduled to begin in March 2013 and become operational in September 2013.

Chile has become a hot spot for solar projects in recent months especially in the Atacama Desert. According to a report published by Chile's Center for Renewable Energy (CORFO), a total of 1.29GW of PV projects are currently under construction bringing the total capacity under development to 3.34GW.