Global thin-film module manufacturer and project developer First Solar has connected approximately half capacity of the 141MW Luz del Norte solar project to the Chilean central grid. The project is expected to be fully constructed in January 2016, and will be the largest solar power plant in Latin America.
The Luz del Norte project, consisting 1.7 million First Solar’s thin-film modules, is an example of how the global energy transition towards clean renewable energy alternatives is taking place in Latin America. When fully operating, the project is expected to generate enough power for more than 174,000 homes, offsetting 185,000 MT of CO2 emissions per year.
Cristian Sjogren, First Solar’s Chile country manager, commented, “Luz del Norte harnesses one of the region’s richest resources, allowing Chile to reduce dependence on fossil-based fuels and meet renewable energy targets set by the national Energy Agenda.”
First Solar runs a permanent office in Santiago, Chile with more than 30 employees. The Chilean office supports over 1GW of regional solar development projects and partnership opportunities. Furthermore, First Solar has also worked to be an active member of the communities in which it is doing business – it developed and funded a special job training program in Copiapó to help young people obtain technical skills for careers in renewable energy. The Luz del Norte team arranged for a US$50,000 donation directed towards rebuilding damaged infrastructure and service in the region.
“We are proud to leverage our industry-leading expertise in project development, high energy yield PV technology, grid integration and energy asset management to create a truly remarkable renewable energy asset for Chile,” said Joe Kishkill, First Solar’s President, International. “First Solar is a strong, reliable technology partner, and we are eager to work with other solar developers with projects in Chile. There is great opportunity to continue solar development at the scale of Luz del Norte.”
(Photo: First Solar's education and training program in Copiapo, Chile. Source: Youtube video)