The Atacama 1 Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant, which Abengoa is constructing in Chile, has been recognized by the Infrastructure 360° Awards for its contribution to clean power generation.

Abengoa (MCE: ABG), the international company that applies innovative technology solutions for sustainability in the energy and environment sectors, has been recognized by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in the second edition of the IDB Infrastructure 360º Awards. This recognition, in the climate change and environment category, is for Abengoa’s commitment to the environment and its contribution to generating clean power, free of greenhouse gas emissions.

The award takes into account the environmental contribution of the Atacama 1 project, the first STE (solar thermal electricity) plant in Latin America, which is being developed and constructed by Abengoa in the Commune of María Elena in the Atacama Desert, Chile.

These awards, granted by an international panel of infrastructure and sustainability experts, recognize and promote different ways of using sustainability practices in planning, designing, constructing and operating infrastructure projects.

Following a rigorous selection process, which examined various environmental and social variables as well as the project’s contribution to the local community, the IDB has recognized Abengoa for its contribution to generating clean power, reducing atmospheric CO2 emissions and for the different aspects of the project designed to protect the environment and benefit the local community.

The STE plant will prevent the emission of approximately 643,000 tons of CO2 every year. Furthermore, the construction, operation and maintenance of this plant will act as a catalyst for the socio-economic development of the region, creating up to 2,000 direct jobs and a large number of indirect jobs, generating a network of services that will support economic growth in the area.

The Atacama 1 complex will have a 110 MW STE plant with tower technology, a thermal storage system using molten salts with 17.5 hours of storage, and a 100 MW photovoltaic plant. Atacama 1 will be the first STE complex for direct electricity production in Latin America.

The STE plant will have a pioneering thermal storage system, designed and developed by Abengoa, which makes this technology highly manageable, enabling it to supply electricity in a stable way, 24 hours a day, responding to electricity demand at any time.

Abengoa has been present in Chile since 1987, where it has carried out numerous projects. This latest award will further consolidate its commitment to STE power and demonstrates the huge potential of this technology in the country. Abengoa currently has 1,603 MW of installed capacity in commercial operation, 360 MW under construction and 320 MW in pre-construction, including both STE and photovoltaic technology. It is the only company in the world to construct and operate STE plants using both tower and parabolic trough technologies.