Enel Green Power has started building the innovative 1.7MW La Silla solar photovoltaic plant in northern Chile, named after the neighbouring astronomical observatory it will supply with its clean energy. The PV project and the observatory are located on a mountain near La Higuera, a town in the Coquimbo region that is on the outskirts of the Atacama Desert, 600km north of Santiago.
"We are very pleased to have begun work on a second highly innovative project in Chile, following the inauguration of the very successful Ollague hybrid facility," said EGP CEO Francesco Venturini. "With La Silla, our continuous innovation in renewable energy technology will provide another example of excellence in clean energy generation, underscoring how sustainability and innovation must go hand in hand. We are looking forward to starting power supply to the observatory and we are excited about the range of opportunities that will emerge from these new ways of producing energy."
EGP will invest approximately 3.4 million US dollars in the construction of the PV plant, which is expected to be completed in the first half of this year.
The new facility will deliver its energy to Chile's Central Region Interconnected System (SIC). Once fully operational, the PV plant will be able to generate approximately 4.75GWh each year, equivalent to the electricity needs of approximately 2,000 households and more than 50% of the observatory's annual power consumption. The clean energy generated by the PV plant will avoid the emission of over 2,000 tonnes of CO2.