Enel Green Power has commissioned yet another solar power project in Chile, strengthening its position as a major developer in one of the fastest growing renewable energy markets in South America.
Enel Green Power Chile, a subsidiary of the Italian parent, recently announced the operationalisation of 97 MW solar PV power project in the Atacama region of Chile. The Carrera Pinto project required a total investment of $180 million and is expected to generate more than 260 GWh every year.
The project is connected to Chile’s central grid Sistema Interconectado Central (SIC) which may allow it to export electricity to far-off places within the country. Several solar power projects located in the Atacama desert have been facing the problem of curtailment as localised consumption at copper mines has fallen sharply and in the absence of adequate transmission infrastructure developers have been forced to inject electricity into the grid for free.
Enel Green Energy already operates the largest solar power project in South America; the project is also located in Chile. The 160 MW solar PV project started electricity generation earlier this year. The project has the capacity of generate more than 400 GWh electricity every year enough to power around 198,000 Chilean households and offset more than 198,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. The project is connected to Chile’s Northern Region Transmission Network, SING (Sistema Interconectado del Norte Grande).
Chile, already an attractive market for renewable energy project developers, announced measures to strengthen transmission network for easy absorption of renewable energy projects. A recently approved legislation will create a new interconnected transmission network to be established alongside a new independent operator. This will ensure that power generated from renewable energy projects located in remote regions of the country is supplied to population centres.
A reverse auction held in Chile, earlier this month, for supply of 12.34 TWh electricity saw solar power bids plunging to global low of US¢2.91/kWh.