Abengoa to develop South America’s largest solar-thermal plant in Chile

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Abengoa has been selected by the Ministry of Energy of the Chilean Government and Corfo (Corporación de Fomento de la Producción) to develop a 110 MW CSP plant using tower technology with 17.5 hours of thermal energy storage using molten salts. The project will be located in the Atacama Desert, the region with the highest solar radiation concentrations in the world. It will be the first solar-thermal plant for direct electricity production in South America.
Abengoa’s project won the international tender launched by the Chilean Ministry of Energy and Corfo to construct the first Concentrated Solar Power plant in Latin America. As part of this tender, the project will receive direct subsidies from the Chilean Government and the European Union, as well as financing from the Inter-American Development Bank, KFW Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, the Clean Technology Fund and Canadian Fund.
The solar plant will also have a pioneering thermal storage system with 17.5 hours of storage that has been designed and developed by Abengoa. This makes the technology highly manageable, enabling it to supply electricity in a stable way, 24 hours a day, responding to all periods of electricity demand.
Abengoa’s new project will be located in the commune of María Elena in the Antofagasta region, northern Chile. The project forms part of Chile’s national renewable energy program, intended to provide Chile with a cleaner energy future, while also promoting its economic development and reducing its dependency on coal and natural gas. Chile has set a target to produce 20% of its electricity from clean energy sources by 2025.
Abengoa’s project in Chile will prevent the emission of approximately 643,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. Furthermore, the construction, operation and maintenance of this plant will act as a catalyst for regional socio-economic development, creating a large number of direct and indirect jobs for the construction, development, commissioning and operation of the plant as well as a network of services that will promote economic growth in the country. Construction of the project is due to start in the second half of 2014.