Spain’s Grenergy enlists top banks for 103MW bifacial PV push in Chile

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
Image credit: Fotopedia

Some of Chile’s largest banks have rallied behind a bifacial solar project in the Atacama Desert, already being built at one of the world’s driest inhabited locations.

Madrid-based developer Grenergy said this week it has lined up US$71 million from four financial institutions to bankroll a 103MW project near the Quillagua oasis, in north Chile.

Banco Security, Banco del Estado de Chile and Penta Vida Compañía de Seguros de Vida will each supply one third of a US$60.3 million senior debt facility, structured against a 17-year timeframe.

Meanwhile, a further US$11 million will come in the form of mezzanine credit from Sinia Renovables, an energy investment entity owned by Spain’s Banco Sabadell.

The funding package has been secured with the 103MW project already under construction. Under Grenergy’s timetable, the plant should be linked to the grid by Q3 2020.

The Quillagua project will require US$97.5 million in overall investment. Once up and running, the 301GWh-a-year plant is expected by Grenergy to produce annual revenues of US$14 million.

The installation, Grenergy explained, will be bifacial-powered. According to the firm’s estimates, the use of two-sided modules will boost power output by up to 15%.

The firm also touted the solar potential of its project location choice, a spot widely seen as one of the world’s driest. In Quillagua, Grenergy noted, irradiation nears 3,000 net hours a year.

Bifacial plays into the world’s top irradiation hotspot

According to Grenergy, the Quillagua 103MW solar project is the largest it has ever undertaken worldwide. It is not, however, its first PV venture in Chile, a country it sees as “strategic”.

The Madrid-listed firm claims to have linked more PV plants (25) to Chile’s grid than anyone else. A few weeks back, it opened a new base in the country to oversee Latin American plays.

The group – which recently made its green bond debut – owns 1.937GW worth of solar projects at various stages in Chile, followed by 980MW in Spain, 458MW in Colombia and others.

The firm’s 103MW new push brings another solar newcomer to the Atacama Desert, seen by researchers as home to the highest long-term solar irradiation levels in the entire planet.

This year alone, strides have been made by projects by Mainstream (145MW), Sonnedix (171MW), Valhalla (561MW) and Google, which will be the offtaker of a 125MW hybrid.

Much like Grenergy, Enel is amongst those tapping into bifacial’s potentially higher yields to make the most of Atacama’s solar resource, with a 382MW plant under construction since August.

The gradual spread of bifacial modules comes as the dedicated exports by Chinese manufacturers into one of the world’s top markets become mired in geopolitics.

The US decision to spare bifacial modules from Section 201 import tariffs, to then backtrack but see its u-turn blocked by the courts, have cast doubts on the long-term access bifacial will enjoy.    

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.

Read Next

June 2, 2021
Renewables are set to account for 70% of global investment in new power generation capacity this year with solar PV leading the growth, but spending on clean energy must accelerate much more rapidly if the world is to meet its climate goals.
May 13, 2021
The solar module manufacturing subsidiary of Italian utility Enel is aiming to scale up annual production capacity to 3GW in the second half of 2023, the company has confirmed.
May 11, 2021
Spain’s Solarpack was affected by pandemic-related project delays in Chile during a first quarter, in which it saw its net profit shrink 95% year-on-year to €300,000.
May 7, 2021
Latin America-focused solar developer Atlas Renewable Energy has obtained a US$150 million loan to finance the construction of its 359MWp Lar do Sol - Casablanca PV project in Brazil.
April 29, 2021
French utility Engie has doubled its renewables deployment targets in Chile as part of plans to end its coal-fired generation activities in the country by 2025.
April 27, 2021
Switzerland-headquartered PV module manufacturer Meyer Burger has formally unveiled its range of heterojunction (HJ) solar modules for mass production.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
June 15, 2021
Solar Media Events
July 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
August 24, 2021
Solar Media Events, Upcoming Webinars
October 6, 2021