Latin America PV News Snippets

Chile Gets ‘Largest’ Solar Complex Powering Astronomical Observatory & More From Lightsource BP, KfW

Latin America PV News Snippets

The 9 MW bifacial solar plant (in the picture) is the highest generation capacity in Chile dedicated to astronomy and supplies electricity to ESO’s Paranal Observatory and the ESO’s ELT construction site at Cerro Armazones during the day. (Photo Credit: ESO)

ESO Paranal Observatory 100% powered by bifacial solar in Chile; America Energia enters 15-year PPA with Lightsource bp in Brazil; KfW lends €200 million to Colombia for energy transition.

Bifacial solar for space observatory: The European Southern Observatory (ESO) says the ESO Paranal Observatory is now powered by a 9 MW bifacial solar power plant in Chile. It calls the project as the ‘largest’ solar complex in the country supplying renewable energy to an astronomical observatory. The 9 MW solar project with 18,565 panels deployed on trackers will cover 100% of electricity needed by ESO to operate the observatory. It will now also supply clean energy for the construction and operation of ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) which ESO says is the largest optical telescope in the world. Realized by the Saesa Group in Chile’s Atacama Desert in south of Antofagasta, the project will enable the ESO to avoid emission of 1,700 tons of CO2 annually. Excess electricity generated by the project will be fed into the Armazones substation to supply to the national grid. “The scientific infrastructure must be at the service of society. This also implies actively taking on the current challenges in matters of sustainability. This plant brings us one step closer to the development of science in a way that is friendly to the environment,” said Luis Chavarría, ESO representative in Chile, during the ceremony. ESO is an intergovernmental research organization of 16 member states for ground-based astronomy.

Lightsource bp’s PPA in Brazil: Solar energy developer Lightsource bp has entered a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with an independent energy trader America Energia in Brazil. The latter will source power from part of 210 MW Milagres Solar Plant of Lightsource bp that it is building in Abaiara, in the state of Ceara. The agreement also entails the British developer to issue Renewable Energy Certificates (I-REC) for the entire period and volume sold. Lightsource bp plans to commission the project in 2024 and the PPA with America Energia brings it financing for the same. “It is part of our strategy to reach smaller customers, which we are currently achieving through partnerships with traders who want to operate more in retail. In this way, we have achieved the objective that everyone has access to the benefits of solar energy: renewable, competitive and predictable,” said VP of Origination and Commercialization at Lightsource bp, Pedro Vidal.

KfW supports Colombia’s energy transition: German development bank KfW has approved a €200 million loan to support and accelerate Colombia’s transition to renewable energy, particularly in electricity generation, access to electricity and transport sector. The loan will be shelled out under phase II of Reform Program for Sustainable and Resilient Development, stated KfW. Under this phase, a roadmap for Colombia’s energy transition will be devised wherein the share of non-conventional renewable energies, especially solar and wind, will be increased from 0.2% to 12%. It will be over and above the current high share of renewable energies in the national electricity mix from hydropower that stands at 66%. Measures will also include decentralized power generation facilitated by companies that generate green power below 0.1 MW. Under phase I of the project, the German bank already committed €150 million in December 2021.

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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