The project developed by the Chinese-owned company will be located in the middle of the Atacama Desert and is expected to supply electricity equivalent to that of 500,000 homes per year.
The Chinese-owned energy company, Pacific Hydro, has officially begun construction of its first solar park in Chile, in the Atacama Desert.
The project, an investment of US$260 million, which will be carried out in Los Loros, in the municipality of Tierra Amarilla in the Atacama Region, consolidates the company's diversification in renewable energy technologies, incorporating solar power generation in the Atacama Desert.
The park will have an installed capacity of 293 MW and a plant factor of 36% It is expected to supply electricity equivalent to that of 500,000 homes per year, which translates into a reduction of 230,000 tons of carbon. It will also inject energy into the Central Interconnected System, thereby helping to strengthen the country's energy infrastructure.
The construction of the park, which should take around 20 months, will also generate jobs for around 400 people.
The company has implemented an ongoing audit system to minimize environmental impacts and, since 2020, has worked closely with local communities, incorporating their suggestions into the development process.
Commitment to surroundings and the community
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by local authorities, including the mayor of the Municipality of Tierra Amarilla, Cristóbal Zúñiga, as well as representatives of the company and InvestChile.
Renzo Valentino, CEO of Pacific Hydro Chile, expressed how proud he was to participate in the ceremony and emphasized the company’s commitment to decarbonizing the country’s energy matrix. «Our company has been in Chile for more than 20 years and we are delighted to be part of this region to contribute to the decarbonization of the country's energy matrix, while at the same time we want to strengthen our position as an agent of change», he assured.
Catalina Pérez, Head of the International Network at InvestChile, confirmed that our country uses foreign investment as a tool for development and highlighted the work that Pacific Hydro has done with the community.
«As companies become involved and form part of the local community, they fulfill a role that goes beyond business, as key players in a community that is capable of valuing and enhancing their contribution», stated Pérez, pointing out that the agency has worked closely with Pacific Hydro's parent company SPIC since 2013.
Pacific Hydro in Chile
Since 2002 Pacific Hydro has been in Chile generating clean energy through its hydroelectric plants in the O’Higgins Region. In addition to its hydroelectric projects, in 2018 Pacific Hydro opened its first wind farm in Chile, in Punta Sierra.
Pacific Hydro is owned by State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC), one of the five largest power generation groups in China, with a total installed capacity of approximately 210 GW.
To learn more about renewable energy investment opportunities in Chile and how foreign companies contribute to decarbonizing our economic matrix, check out the following article.