Enel breaks ground on Chilean drone-monitored bifacial solar park

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email
(Image credit: Flickr / Sergejf)

Enel Green Power has reached another development milestone in Latin America, rolling out the first components of what it says is Chile’s largest solar project to enter construction to date.

A statement from the firm marked this week the ground-breaking of 382MW Campos del Sol, a project some 60 kilometres northeast of Atacama desert city Copiapó.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

Requiring overall investments of US$320 million, the project will install approximately one million bifacial panels, meant to boost power output by 12% versus mono-facial peers.

According to Enel’s statement, the 1,160GWh-a-year plant should come online by the end of 2020, going on then to help Chile slash CO2 emissions by an annual 900,000-plus tonnes.

The firm sought to highlight some of Campos del Sol’s technological features, noting the use of GPS-controlled machinery and an autonomous drone to ensure construction runs smoothly.

Under a deal unveiled in early May, the 382MW plant will also feature Sungrow’s 1500Vdc central inverters, designed to meet Chilean requirements for earthquake safety.

As Sungrow explained at the time, its 6.25MW turnkey technology is meant to bring efficiency levels of up to 99% and a maximum DC/AC ratio of up to 1.5.

Global solar sets sights on Atacama

Enel styles itself as Chile’s biggest power player in installed capacity terms, with solar plants taking up 500MW of its overall 7.5GW portfolio of renewable and non-renewable sources.

The firm was hired earlier this year to power the Chilean operations of mining giant Anglo American via 3TWh in annual renewable supply.

Which of Enel’s solar projects – if any at all – are covered under the PPA remains unclear, but PV Tech understands the deal concerns existing clean energy plants.

The firm, which bills its 382MW Campos del Sol as the largest solar plant under construction in Chile, made a similar claim last week for the 608MW bifacial São Gonçalo complex it is deploying in Brazil.

The country – which favours auctions over feed-in tariffs to promote renewables – has been placed by IRENA in Latin America’s solar top three, with installed capacity reaching 2.13GW last year.

Utility-scale deployment is largely centred around the Atacama Desert, a global irradiation hotspot home to projects by Sonnedix (171MW), Solarpack (123MW) and a major scheme by Valhalla.

The prospects and challenges of Latin American solar and storage will take centre stage at Solar Media's Energy Storage Latin America, to be held in Colombia on 28-29 April 2020.

8 October 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
PV Tech has been running an annual PV CellTech Conference since 2016. PV CellTech USA, on 8-9 October 2024 is our second PV CellTech conference dedicated to the U.S. manufacturing sector. The event in 2023 was a sell out success and 2024 will once again gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing in the U.S. out to 2030 and beyond.
26 November 2024
Málaga, Spain
Understanding PV module supply to the European market in 2025. PV ModuleTech Europe 2024 is a two-day conference that tackles these challenges directly, with an agenda that addresses all aspects of module supplier selection; product availability, technology offerings, traceability of supply-chain, factory auditing, module testing and reliability, and company bankability.
11 March 2025
Frankfurt, Germany
The conference will gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing out to 2030 and beyond.

Read Next

May 28, 2024
The Italian solar sector installed over 1.7GW of solar PV capacity in Q1 2024, marking a significant increase compared with the same period in 2023.
May 24, 2024
Solar project developer Recurrent Energy has secured a €674 million (US$730 million) revolving credit facility to expand its European solar and battery energy storage system (BESS) portfolio.
May 24, 2024
Waaree Energies has signed an agreement to supply 445MW of modules to Statkraft India for a project in Bikaner, Rajasthan.
May 24, 2024
Indian solar installations increased by over 400% in the first quarter of 2024 to the highest quarterly deployment levels in its history.
May 23, 2024
The flurry of recent tariff changes for solar imports to the US is likely to make products from Southeast Asia less attractive to buyers, according to renewables analysis firm Clean Energy Associates (CEA).
May 22, 2024
Over 200MW of new solar PV capacity will be brought online in New Zealand following two new partnerships established in the last week.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
May 29, 2024
11am (EDT) / 5pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
June 4, 2024
London, UK
Upcoming Webinars
June 11, 2024
3:00 PM (BST) / 4:00 PM (CEST)
Solar Media Events
July 2, 2024
Athens, Greece