Chile prepares to add 2.2 GW of solar power generation
Chile's National Energy Commission (CNE) says it is feasible to connect up to 2.2 GW of solar plants to the national grid over the next 15 years, in a newly published plan for the expansion of the national transmission system.
The 125-page report estimates the cost of investing in photovoltaic energy development in Chile amounts to US$2,500 per kW, equal to the price of building coal generation plants in the northern electricity transmission system (SING) and slightly more expensive than building coal plants ($2,350/kW) in the central electricity system (SIC).
The new report lists 13 solar plants with a combined capacity of 1.5 GW that are expected to come online on SING up to 2028.
According to the plan, the 100 MW-scale Sol De Lua and Crucero 1 plants are due to come online next year, followed by the 50 MW Arica 1 and 100 MW Crucero 2 in 2015.
In 2016, the 50 MW Arica 2 and 100 MW Pozo Almonte 1 will start production, followed by the 100 MW-sized Crucero 3 and Laguna 2 in 2018 and the similarly sized Pozo Almonte 2 in 2019.
Three more 200 MW photovoltaic plants are scheduled to come online: Solar Sing 1 and Solar Sing 2 in 2026 and Solar Sing 3 two years later.
Eight more plants totalling 700 MW are slated for development on the SIC network, including the 100 MW Sol de Almagro 1, Inca de Oro 1 and Carrera Pinto 1 (in 2018) and the 50 MW Sol de Vallenar 1 (in 2018 or 2019). The remaining four plants – the 100 MW Sol de Almagro 1, Inca de Oro 2 and Carrera Pinto 2 and the 50 MW Sol de Vallenar 2 - will be developed in the next decade up to 2027.
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