Chile has given green light to the construction of the largest solar power project in South America.
According to media reports, SolarReserve has received go-ahead for construction of a 450 megawatts concentrated solar power project. The project shall use solar power tower technology and will be located in Chile’s Tarapacá region.
The approval for construction came after the Environmental Evaluation Service issued an environmental qualification resolution. The project will consist of three power towers of 150 megawatt capacity each with 13 hours of full load energy storage.
The project is expected to generate over 2,600 GWh of electricity every year which will power around 800,000 households in Chile. The project will also make significant contribution to the country’s economy. Around 1,200 jobs are expected to be created from the construction and operation of the project while 40-60% of the equipment to be used in the project will be manufactured in Chile.
Once commissioned the project will overtake the 292 megawatts solar PV power project being construction by Enel Green Power In Brazil to become the largest solar power project in South America.
Chile has seen a remarkable growth in solar power development of the last few months. Last year Chile achieved 1 GW of installed solar power capacity with several major project developers, including Acciona, Enel Green Power, Pattern Energy, EDF and Marubeni, and SunPower, which are working on large-scale solar power projects.
And although the Chilean Congress approved the Electricity Transmission Act which will establish a new interconnected transmission network shall be established, alongside a new independent operator, the fact that the SolarReserve project has 13-hour storage capacity gives it a crucial competitive edge over other projects.