Another 20MW joins Chile’s Atacama solar construction pipeline



Another solar power project in the subsidy-less country of Chile has received the stamp of approval from the environmental authorities.

Chile’s Environmental Assessment Service (Servicio de Evaluación Ambiental SEIA) has approved a 20MW solar power park named ‘Central Solar Chaka’.

The project proposal was submitted 30 May 2013 and will be built in the Atacama Desert region, which is proving very popular with solar project developers due to high solar radiance and cheap land. Central Solar Chaka will be near the municipality of Diego de Almagro.

The project is expected to cost US$57 million and to generate around 60GWh a year. It will feature 91,200 solar modules with tracking systems.

The project has a 25-year shelf life and will create between 150 and 250 construction jobs, employing another 50 staff for operating the solar plant.

The plant is expected to be operational by 4 April.

Construction includes a substation and transmission line to feed energy to Chile’s largest grid, the Central Interconnected System/Sistema Interconectado Central (SIC) grid.

Two days ago 50MW of solar, also in the Atacama region also received environmental approval.

Chile’s pipeline of approved but unbuilt PV projects reached over 5.33GW at the end of December last year, according to the country’s renewable energy research centre, CER.

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