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

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
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.

15 September 2022
Bifacial PV modules will be the dominant solar PV technology globally within one or two years; in the utility-scale sector, their market share is already above 70%. This webinar will provide a clear view on the successful implementation of bifacial technology, maximizing system performance and minimising LCoE.

Read Next

PV Tech Premium
August 10, 2022
PV Tech Premium looks at the main drivers that drove solar PV in Chile in the last years and has risen as one of the leaders in the region.
August 8, 2022
Despite an initial selection of 15 bidders, Chile’s latest power auction awarded only two companies contracts, with 777GWh of solar PV co-located with energy storage and wind secured.
July 29, 2022
Renewables developer Mytilineos has seen its profits soar to €166 million in H1 2021, with renewables sales nearly doubling.
July 14, 2022
Corporate funding in the global solar sector in the first half of 2022 was down 11% year-on-year as activity dropped especially during Q2, according to research from Mercom Capital Group.
July 12, 2022
Trina Solar will build a 71MW floating PV (FPV) project in the Malaysian state of Sarawak after winning a tender held by the state’s utility, Sarawak Energy.
July 12, 2022
US solar developer Origis Energy has signed a supply agreement for more than 700MW of bifacial PERC PV modules from manufacturer Boviet Solar Technology.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
September 7, 2022
15:30 AEST (UTC +10)
Solar Media Events
September 14, 2022
London
Solar Media Events
October 4, 2022
New York, USA
Solar Media Events
October 11, 2022
Virtual event