Build-out of Chile’s PV pipeline gathers pace



Chile’s installed PV capacity has seen another increase in the past month, with 150MW now operational and a further 225MW under construction.

According to CER, Chile’s renewable energy centre, the connection last month of SunEdison’s 48MW San Andres project took total operational capacity in the country to 149.8MW.

Chile has a PV pipeline of some 5GW, but projects have been slow to get built due to land, grid and financing issues.

Last month SunEdison completed the country’s first significant PV project, the 93MW Amanecer plant, kick started the build-out of Chile’s pipeline.

And that process now appears to be gathering pace, with CER figures showing the volume of projects under construction has increased from 126MW to 225MW in the past month.

CER reported that virtually all renewable projects approved in 2013, are now under way.

The report for March 2014 accounts for all non-conventional renewable energy (NCRE) in Chile, and states in January and February, there was an “important movement”, with solar leading the newly installed renewable capacity.

Precisely, solar generation projects in Chile, as of March 2014, have 149.8MW reported as in operation, 225MW under construction, 5,951 projects approved, and 3,953 projects approved and awaiting construction.

According to CAR, 2014 started with 1,352MW of renewables installed, and with more than 16GW of various renewable energy projects in the pipeline.

A potentially significant development is the fact that the country’s Ministry of National Assets has released tenders for 14 lots of land set aside for renewable energy projects.

By the end of 2014, CER has predicted 1.5GW – 1.8GW of renewables will be installed.

Renewable energy generation in Chile is currently still dominated by biomass and hydro power, accounting for more than 80% of NCRE generation.

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