With this supply, the project’s first construction milestone is reached. The project provides for the construction of the largest solar thermal plant in Latin America, is owned by EIG Global Energy Partners and is being built by Abengoa.
Abengoa (MCE: ABG/P:SM), the international company that applies innovative technology solutions for sustainability in the energy and environment sectors, attended the connection of the first 62 MW to the grid from the photovoltaic plant at the Cerro Dominador solar complex. The project is owned by EIG Global Energy Partners and is being developed by Abengoa. In addition to the photovoltaic plant, it will also consist of Latin America’s first solar thermal plant. Abengoa is responsible for the turnkey construction of the photovoltaic plant.
The event is the first construction milestone of this large solar project since EIG Global Energy Partners assumed its control. In attendance at the celebratory event were Chilean Ministers of Economy, José Luis Céspedes; Energy, Andrés Rebolledo; and National Assets, Nivia Palma, as well as other regional and local authorities.
The facility is comprised of a 110 MW solar thermal plant that uses tower technology and a 100 MW photovoltaic plant located in the Atacama Desert, the area which receives the highest concentration of solar radiation in the world. Both plants complement each other and offer the possibility of generating power 24 hours a day.
The photovoltaic plant, which will have 392,000 panels to catch the sun’s energy and send it directly to the grid, is scheduled to become completely operational by the end of this year.
The solar thermal plant plans for a tower measuring 250 meters in height with 10,600 heliostats, covering a surface of more than 700 hectares, and is expected to be completed in 2019. This plant will feature a pioneering thermal storage system, designed and developed by Abengoa that boasts of 17.5 hours of energy storage thus making this technology highly dispatchable and enabling it to supply electricity in a stable way, 24 hours a day and respond to electricity demand at all times.
The entire project will prevent the emission of 870,000 tons of CO2 each year, thereby meeting the energy demand of both the population and the industry thanks to a combination of both technologies.
The initiative is part of Chile’s national renewable energy program which is desgned to provide cleaner future energy for Chile while boosting economic development and reducing the country’s dependency on coal and other fossil fuels. Chile aims to reach 20 % of its energy production by means of clean energy by 2025.
Abengoa has been present in Chile since 1987 and has developed numerous projects for important mining, electricity and communication companies as well as for the industrial sector in general. This project in particular, consolidates Abengoa’s presence in the country and its new firm bet on engineering, supply and construction projects for third parties in the energy, water and transmission sectors in addition to distribution and operation and maintenance.