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Enel hooks to Chilean grid 48-MW geothermal plant

Atacama desert. Author: Kate McClean.

April 3 (Renewables Now) - Italian energy group Enel SpA (BIT:ENEL) announced on Friday that the 48-MW Cerro Pabellon geothermal power plant in Chile has started delivering electricity to the Norte Grande Interconnected System, also known as SING.

Cerro Pabellon, which consists of two 24-MW units, is South America’s first geothermal power station, Enel said in a statement. The facility is located in Ollague in the Antofagasta region, 4,500 metres (14,760 ft) above sea level in the Atacama Desert. Because of this, it is also the world’s first high enthalpy, utility-scale geothermal plant to be constructed at such a high altitude, the company added.

Upon completion, the plant will have the capacity to generate some 340 GWh of electricity per year and thus power over 165,000 local homes.

The Italian company’s wholly-owned subsidiary Enel Green Power Chile Ltda (EGPC) co-owns the facility with Chile’s state-owned hydrocarbons company Empresa Nacional del Petroleo (ENAP) through a joint venture in which EGPC holds an 81.7% stake.

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