The Chilean mining companies Collahuasi and Codelco are set to benefit from solar power as the Pozo Almonte and Calama PV project moves one step closer to realisation after the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a US$41.4 million loan package to fund the project.
The loan — which consists of US$20.7 million from IDB’s ordinary capital and US$20.7 million from the Canadian Climate Fund — will be used to build, operate and maintain the Pozo Almonte and Calama PV project. The estimated total cost of the project is US$82.7 million.
The project consists of three PV plants — known as Pozo Almonte 2, Pozo Almonte 3 and Calama Solar 3 — which have a combined capacity of 25.5MW. When it comes online in late 2013, it will represent Chile’s largest solar PV project.
The 7.5MW Pozo Almonte 2 plant will be constructed on around 56 hectares of desert land and house approximately 27,000 PV modules.
The 16MW Pozo Almonte 3 plant will be situated on 126 hectares of desert land and be equipped with 57,000 PV modules.
Meanwhile, the 1MW Calama Solar 3 plant will be built on 6.3 hectares of land and consist of 4,420 PV modules.
Solarpack Chile will be responsible for providing EPC services. It will also provide operational, maintenance and asset management services for the grid-connected plants.