Grenergy connects world's southernmost solar plants in Chile
Grenergy has connected two solar plants with a capacity of 20,6 MW (megawatt-peak) to the Chilean distribution network (located in the O'Higgins Region). In this way, the company has connected the southernmost Multi-MW solar project in the entire world, proving that this energy can be profitable even at very southern latitudes of the planet.
More specifically, these are two PMGD (fotovoltaic projects with a size of between 3 and 9 MW) plants, the funding for which Grenergy closed last September for an amount of 19,2 million dollars (17,1 million euros) with the entities Security and Consorcio. This operation was already a milestone in the Chilean banking sector, as it was the first time that local authorities had supported a renewable energy project under the Stabilised Price Regime.
Now, thanks to the Spanish company, Chile has taken one step further in spearheading the renewable revolution taking place in Latin America with the connection of the Esperanza and Marchigüe plants, which are in the same commune in the VI Region of Chile, to the south of Santiago.
What's more, size-wise these are the most important projects for Grenergy to date, as they stretch over an area equivalent to 65 football pitches and together are expected to generate more than 44,400 MW of power, covering the electricity needs of around 14.600 Chilean households per year.
Chile, a strategic market
Chile is one of the driving forces behind Grenergy's business in LATAM today, along with Mexico, where the company was awarded its first project in the country's second energy tender to construct 30 MW of photovoltaic power, and Peru, where it has been awarded a 36 MW wind power project. In Chile, the company has the largest portfolio of PMGD projects in the market, accounting for approximately 200 MW between projects already completed, under construction and in development.
With these five connected plants, Grenergy now has 27 MW of power in operation, although the company is well towards completing another three, so it hopes to end the first half of this year with almost 40 MW connected to the grid. This is fully in keeping with Grenergy's 2016/2017 business plan, setting out to build 85 MW in Chile, a goal which at this rate should easily be achieved.
The group's projects are located within a 300-kilometre radius of the capital Santiago, an area that concentrates the main energy needs of the country. The fact that they are connected to the distribution network favours the stability of the electricity system, as it cuts losses and boost the efficiency of the system itself.
Indeed, state policies are encouraging the growth of Grenergy in the country, as the Chilean government has set a target that by 2050 a total of 70% of energy used should come from renewable sources.
As the Grenergy CEO, David Ruiz de Andrés, explains: "we hope that 2017 will be the year of Grenergy's consolidation in Latin America. The year-end goal is to become the company with the highest number of photovoltaic plants in operation in Chile. This will also bolster our business model, producing a mix between recurring revenue - generated by the sale of power from plants in operation - and the sale of plants to third parties".
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