With the aim of taking advantage of the huge untapped potential of solar power existing in the north of the country, Chilean company Valhalla Energía has submitted the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for its Cielos de Tarapacá project that will supply the SING, the Large Northern Interconnected System. This project will also complement the innovative Espejo de Tarapacá initiative that was submitted to the SEA, Environmental Assessment System in August 2014.
Cielos de Tarapacá consists of the construction and operation of the largest solar PV facility in Latin America, and will be located around 75 km to the south-east of Iquique, in the district of Pozo Almonte. The project involves an estimated investment of US$1Bn.
The solar farm will cover a total area of 1,650 hectares and could inject around 1800GWh per year into the SING. The project has recently applied for environmental permits and with the required eligibility already having been approved, it is now pending the Environmental Classification Decision by the end of 2015.
According to Juan Andrés Camus, Managing Director of Valhalla Energía, “the Tarapacá region offers enormous potential as regards renewable energy and this is why we are now in a position to promote initiatives such as Cielos de Tarapacá. This project will become one of the largest solar farms in the world, supplying clean and highly competitive energy compared to other pollutant sources”.
Cielos de Tarapacá is the second project from Valhalla Energía being assessed by the SEA. These two initiatives share the common aim to become the cleanest contributors to the energy grid, taking advantages of the unique conditions offered by Chile to develop Non-Conventional Renewable Energy Sources.