Abengoa to develop solar-thermal plant in Chile

14 January 2014

Spanish multinational corporation Abengoa has been awarded a contract to develop a 110MW solar plant, South America’s first, in the Atacama desert in Chile.

Once complete the plant will be able to store 17.5 hours of thermal energy using molten salts. The technology means that electricity supply will provide power without interruption for 24 hours a day.

Chile’s Ministry of Energy and Corporación de Fomento de la Producción awarded the tender, which will receive financing from the Inter-American Development Bank, KFW Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, the Clean Technology Fund and Canadian Fund.

The plant will be built in the Atacama desert in Chile (Wikimedia Commons)

The project will also receive direct subsidies from the Chilean Government and the European Union.

The project will be the first solar-thermal plant for direct electricity production in South America. It forms part of Chile’s national renewable energy program, intended to produce 20% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025.

Construction is due to start in the second half of 2014.

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