Sep 13 (Renewables Now) - Italian energy group Enel SpA (BIT:ENEL) on Tuesday announced the start-up of the second unit of its 48-MW Cerro Pabellon geothermal power plant in Chile.
Cerro Pabellon, which consists of two 24-MW units, is South America’s first geothermal power station. At an inauguration ceremony for the project, the Italian company said that the first unit started delivering electricity to the Norte Grande Interconnected System, also known as SING, in March, while the second unit is expected to be fully operational in October.
The geothermal facility is located in Ollague in the Antofagasta region, 4,500 metres (14,760 ft) above sea level in the Atacama Desert. According to Enel, it is the first utility-scale geothermal plant to be constructed at such a high altitude. Once fully commissioned, the plant will be able to generate some 340 GWh of electricity per year, enough to meet the demand of over 165,000 local homes and save over 166,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
Enel'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 83.65% stake. The total investment in the project is estimated at about USD 320 million (EUR 267m).
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.835)