80.8MW solar farm proposal adds to Chile’s growing project pipeline

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Chile’s Environmental Assessment Service has received a proposal for an 80.8MW solar project in the Atacama Region, adding to a growing pipeline.

The Environmental Impact Statement was submitted for approval by photovoltaic project developer, AustrianSolar Chile Two SpA a subsidiary of Austrian Enviro Technologies.

The statement was submitted 7 November for the ‘Sol de Atacama’ project.

The solar farm requires US$165 million in investment, with plans to be build it in two phases, Sol de Atacama I (50.4MW) and Sol de Atacama II (30.4MW). It will be built in the popular Atacama region, in the coastal city of Chanaral, 26 kilometres from the town of El Salado.

If approved construction will begin in Febraury 2015, installing 343,804 solar panels onto fixed structures with a 110kV substation and discharge line to be connected to the central interconnected system (SIC).

The project has a 30-year shelf life and will create 545 construction jobs, 27 operational and a further 160 indirect jobs.

AustrianSolar has also submitted a proposal for the 100MW Sol de Los Andes project to the Chilean Environmental assessment service.

To be built in 50MW stages using 208,656 solar panels, the project requires an estimated investment amount of US$216 million and is also to be connected to the SIC grid, once approved.

The project joins a long list of proposed solar projects. According to Chile’s Centre of Renewable Energy (CER)’s October renewables pipeline report, solar now accounts for 57% of Chile’s renewables portfolio. Just 6.7MW of solar, 0.5% of all renewables energy generation, is currently in operation, including off-grid solar. Chile’s entire renewables portfolio totals 13.352GW.

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