Etrion Corporation has completed and connected its 70MW solar park located in the Atacama region of Chile, under budget and five months ahead of schedule, it claims.
Etrion also claims the newly connected plant is the largest merchant solar power station in the world.
Project Salvador, expected to generate 200 gigawatt-hours of solar electricity per year, enough to power approximately 80,000 households, is proportionally owned by its financers, Etrion with 70% funding and ownership, Total with 20%, and Solventus with 10%. Total also hired its affiliate, SunPower, as the project’s engineering, procurement, and construction partner, as well as the plant’s operator.
The merchant plant, reliant on spot market electricity revenues, will sell the electricity produced to Sistema Interconectado Central (SIC) electricity network, with the option to secure power purchase agreements (PPAs) in the future.
The US$200 million construction project received about 70% of its funding from the long-term non-recourse debt agreement made with the US’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). The remaining construction and project costs were funded by Etrion, Total and local developer Solventus, based on their respective ownership interests.
“The 70MW Salvador solar park was connected five months ahead of schedule and under budget thanks to the hard work of our local team and contractors,” said Marco A. Northland, Etrion’s chief executive officer. “This project almost doubles Etrion’s installed net capacity and is expected to significantly increase our annual cash flow. We look forward to advancing our 99MW of greenfield solar development pipeline in Chile next year.”