Inti Pacific 2 and Etrion to boost Chile’s PV capacity with proposed projects

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Inti Pacific 2, an affiliate of Spanish renewable energy developer Nexer, is seeking approval for its proposed 54MW PV project in the Antofagasta region of northern Chile and has submitted plans to the Chilean environmental authority, Servicio de Evaluación Ambiental (SEA).

The project, called Proyecto Fotovoltaico Pacific, will be built in the town of Maria Elena, Tocopilla Province, and will be equipped with 272,160 polycrystalline silicon modules. The project, which will cover a 146.66 hectare site, will require an investment of US$108 million.

When complete, the project will be connected to the Northern Interconnected System (SING) grid through a purpose-built substation, located within the project area.

If approval is granted, construction will begin towards the end of December 2013. 

In related news, independent power producer Etrion Corporation is planning on making its foray into the Chilean solar market after signing a Letter of Intent with Atacama Minerals Chile to build an 8.8MW PV system for the mining company.

Under the terms of the agreement, Etrion build, own and operate the Aguas Blancas solar park and sell the electricity to the Aguas Blancas Mine located in the north of Chile. The parties expect to sign a definitive PPA by the end of March 2013.

The total project cost, including costs related to the licences, permits, development and construction, is estimated to be less than US$20 million. It will be partly funded through non-recourse project financing, with the remaining equity portion to be funded by Etrion.

Construction of the project is subject to a definitive power purchase agreement between the parties and Etrion arranging the necessary debt and equity financing in addition to a number of other conditions.

Marco A. Northland, Etrion’s Chief Executive Officer, commented:  Our focus on Chile is beginning to pay off and we are well positioned to serve the mining sector given our proven track record of building and operating 17 power plants in Europe, combined with our understanding of the Latin American region.

“This project validates our strategy to move beyond government subsidies into markets with high solar irradiation and demonstrates that solar can compete with traditional sources of electricity today. Energy is a key concern for mining companies in Chile and our solution brings a sustainable power solution into Chile’s energy mix. 2013 will be an exciting year for us as we intend to secure additional projects and increase our installed capacity.”

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