Solar energy company SunEdison Inc. says it will build a 50.7 MW photovoltaic power plant in Chile’s Atacama region after closing a $100.4 million finance deal with the U.S. Government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and the World Bank Group.
The San Andrés solar farm, which will be one the largest PV based power generation facilities in Latin America, is expected to be brought online in 2014 and will supply energy at spot market prices to Chile’s Central Interconnected System (SIC).
Under a non-recourse debt finance arrangement with SunEdison, OPIC has guaranteed $62.9 million, the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) a further $37.5 million, while global lender Rabobank will inject the equivalent of USD $25.6 million.
“OPIC is excited to support this landmark project which will help Chile take advantage of its solar potential, increase access to energy, and create local jobs,” said Elizabeth L. Littlefield, OPIC President and CEO. “This is an important renewable energy project for OPIC in Chile and we look forward to advancing it while continuing our strong partnership with SunEdison.””
It’s not the first time SunEdison, OPIC and the IFC have leveraged cash to advance Chile’s solar revolution. In September the company announced a $212.5 million loans deal for a 100MW solar power facility, the Amanecer Solar CAP project. Consisting of more than 300,000 solar panels, it will be the biggest in South America and among the largest capacity photovoltaic plants in the world.
Pancho Perez, President of SunEdison for Latin America, said of the project:
“Photovoltaic solar energy is an ideal source to diversify the current energy mix, reduce energy costs, and contribute to the growing energy demand in a country that has extraordinary conditions for the development of this type of energy. This project is just the first step of SunEdison’s long term commitment to the development of the green energy in Chile.”