After a 13-month development and construction, Latin America’s largest solar power plant has been connected in November 10 in northern Chile. With an expected annual power generation of 500GWh, the 246MW El Romero Solar power plant will offset around 475,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions.
ACCIONA successfully completed El Romero Solar power plant two months earlier than the schedule. The solar power plant consists of around 776,000 solar panels, covering a surface area of 280 hectares in the Atacama Desert in the municipality of Vallenar, around 645 km north of Santiago. As El Romero Solar has been connected to the power grid, electricity generated from it will be sold to the Central Interconnected System (SIC), a local power utility.
ACCIONA invested approximately US$343 million in the solar power plant and owns it. The annual power yield of 500GWh is enough to power 240,000 Chilean homes.
Solar power leads renewable energy development in Latin America
El Romero Solar is the second asset owned by ACCIONA Energía in Chile after the 45MW Punta Palmeras wind farm in the region of Coquimbo, which entered service in October 2014. In August this year, the company was awarded 506GWh in auction 2015/01 organized by the Chilean National Energy Commission and planes to build the 183MW San Gabriel wind farm in La Araucanía.
Latin America enjoys rich renewable energy resources including solar, hydro, wind, and biomass. Mexico, Chile, Brazil and Honduras are countries that leading Latin America entering into the global renewable energy market as emerging markets, while solar is booming.
In the first quarter of this year, Italy-based company Enel completed the 160MW Finis Terrae solar power plant in Chile, whose “Latin American’s largest” title was soon replaced by the 246MW El Romero Solar. However, Enel is constructing two larger solar power plants in Brazil -- the 292MW plant in Piaui and the 254MW plant in Bahia -- both of them will be larger than El Romero Solar.
(Photo source: ACCIONA)