SolarReserve receives environmental approval for 260 MW CSP plant in Chile


SolarReserve has received environmental approval from the Chilean government to develop one of the world’s largest CSP projects with energy storage. Utilizing SolarReserve’s proprietary solar thermal energy storage technology, the Copiapó Solar Project, scheduled to reach commercial operation in 2019, will deliver 260 MW of reliable, clean, non-intermittent baseload power 24 hours a day to consumers of the SIC. The project technology is based on SolarReserve’s successful Crescent Dunes CSP project in the U.S., which is complete with construction and is currently in final commissioning.

As part of SolarReserve’s project development and permitting process for the Copiapó project, the company collaborates with stakeholders and local communities to ensure minimal environmental impact. This process includes careful site selection, low water use systems, and extensive environmental studies prior to starting construction. The Copiapó project underwent comprehensive environmental assessment under the Chilean Impact Assessment System (Sistema de Evaluación de Impacto Ambiental – SEIA) administered by the Environmental Evaluation Service (SEA), and as a result was successfully awarded an environmental qualification resolution (Resolución de Calificación Ambiental) (RCA), which is the name for the Chilean environmental permit.

The Copiapó project, located in the Atacama Region, consists of SolarReserve’s CSP tower technology with molten salt thermal energy storage combined with solar photovoltaic panels. This hybrid concept will maximize the output of the facility, delivering over 1,800 GWh annually, while providing a highly competitive price of power. It will produce up to 260 MW’s of firm baseload power which is critical to Chile’s industrial sector, particularly the mining companies; operating at a capacity factor and availability percentage equal to that of a coal fired power plant. No other proven renewable energy technology can provide this cost competitive energy solution to meet the needs of Chile’s largest and most important industries.