The President of Chile has inaugurated the Amanecer Solar CAP plant, the largest PV-based power station in Latin America.
Developed, built and interconnected by SunEdison, the 100MW facility will generate enough clean electricity to power approximately 125,000 Chilean homes. The solar farm also contributes 10% of the renewable energy generation capacity goal set by Chile’s government for this year.
Like many nations, Chile relies heavily on fossil fuels for power generation – with gas, oil and coal representing 63% of its energy mix in 2012. The 270 GWh (gigawatt hours) Amanecer will contribute to the grid in the first year is equivalent to more than 71 million litres of diesel fuel used in power generation applications.
The plant, situated in municipality of Copiapo in the Atacama Desert, consists of 310,000 solar panels and was constructed in just 6 months.
“This project has changed the course of renewable energy development not only in Chile and Latin America, but throughout the world,” said Ahmad Chatila, President and CEO of SunEdison. “Amanecer Solar CAP has become a benchmark for SunEdison in how to develop photovoltaic solar energy on an international level.”
Amanecer is SunEdison’s second major project in the Atacama Desert; the other being the 50.7 MW San Andrés solar farm.
In other recent SunEdison news, the company announced it has entered into an agreement with Huantai Group in China. Under the partnership, up to to 1.7 GW (gigawatts) of solar projects in China will be constructed over the next five years, with SunEdison supplying Huantai with polysilicon.
Huntai will manufacture wafers from the polysilicon that both companies will use.
Projects constructed under the agreement will be managed by the SunEdison Renewable Operation Center (ROC), which provides asset management, monitoring and reporting services.
“China has become one of the world’s largest and most important solar markets and this agreement with the highly respected Huantai Group positions both companies for rapid and profitable growth,” said Mr. Chatila.