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Innergex has inaugurated the first energy storage plant in Chile

InvestChile - October,30,2023

This Canadian company has invested US$ 72 million in a 50 MW battery bank in Atacama and plans to reach 1,000 MW of installed capacity over the short term. 


Canadian-owned Innergex has inaugurated its first electricity generating plant with a battery energy storage system (BESS). 

Chile has positioned itself as the most attractive country for investing in renewable energy in the region. Some of the reasons are its natural resources, government involvement and global partnerships.  

Many wind farms and solar plants have been recently built, and one of the biggest challenges is storing renewable energy.   

Energy Storage Plant

The Salvador BESS in the Diego de Almagro district, Atacama region, required an investment of US$72 million and has a capacity of 50 MW, due to its 106 interconnected battery containers, which are connected to the National Electricity Grid at the Salvador electricity substation. 

The local newspaper La Tercera reported that the new unit adds flexibility to the company's Salvador photovoltaic park that began operating in 2015 with installed capacity of 68 MW, which is sufficient to supply 70,000 homes in Chile.

This energy storage plant is the first to be added to an operating renewable energy plant and will ensure that it can supply photovoltaic electricity when demand is at its peak, especially during twilight. 

Canadian investment in Chile 

Innergex is the third largest company generating renewable electricity in Chile with total installed capacity of 704 MW. It is now developing a second storage plant with a capacity of 35 MW that will be integrated into the San Andres photovoltaic plant in the Atacama region. 

Construction is currently 80% complete and it is expected to begin operating during the first half of 2024. 

The inauguration was attended by the Energy Minister, Diego Pardow; the Canadian Ambassador to Chile, Michael Gort; the Managing Director of Innergex Renewable Energy, Michel Letellier, and various local dignitaries. 

The strategy includes negotiating balanced Power Purchase Agreements (PPA). These can be both long term agreements resulting from tenders to supply energy to regulated customers, and short-term agreements, «which is sometimes counter-intuitive, but this portfolio means that we can navigate any swings in marginal costs for both injection and withdrawal», said Innergex general manager, Jaime Pino. 

However, the local Canadian executive called on the authorities to accelerate initiatives and regulations to facilitate the deployment of more renewable energy projects. 

«We believe that significant progress requires more transmission projects and that solar projects and wind projects urgently require faster transmission permits. We believe that this is a vital national progression, in order to distribute all the energy being produced, for example, in this area,» said Innergex general manager, Jaime Pino. 

The Energy Minister, Diego Pardow, said that «this project is aligned with the government’s objectives. It complements renewable energy generation and storage so that the electricity we generate from the sun can be flexibly used during peak demand. This is one of many steps required to eliminate our electricity system’s dependence on fossil fuels and decarbonize our energy matrix.» 

Innergex Chairman and Managing Director, Michel Letellier, said, «I am very proud to participate in this ceremony, as this is Innergex's largest battery energy storage project to date.» 

Mr. Letellier added that «we believe that energy storage is an essential complement to renewable energy. Chile has incredible potential to develop battery energy storage systems, and we are firmly committed to accelerating the deployment of these clean technologies.» 

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