Sep 26, 2013 - French oil and gas group Total (EPA:FP) and Swiss solar power producer Etrion Corp (TSE:ETX, STO:ETX) today unveiled plans for a 70-MWp solar park in Chile’s Atacama region.
The Salvador photovoltaic (PV) scheme will be jointly owned by Etrion with a 70% stake and Total with a 20% interest, while Spanish Solventus Energias Renovables will hold the remaining 10%. The project will require investments of about USD 200 million (EUR 148m). The project owners will cover 70% of the project costs via a non-recourse US dollar-denominated debt financing from the Overseas Private Investment Corp with a 19.5-year tenor. The lender has already approved the loan, with financial closure seen to be achieved by the end of 2013. The three partners have committed to finance the remaining 30% share, depending on their respective stakes in the project.
US firm SunPower Corp (NASDAQ:SPWR), an affiliate of Total, will be in charge the facility's construction. It will also operate and maintain the system under a long-term fixed price agreement. Building works are slated to start by the end of this year, with the facility to be switched on by March 2015. When up and running, the system will produce about 200 GWh of power each year, enough to meet the electricity demand of about 60,000 people in Chile, the developers calculate.
The solar farm will initially operate on a merchant basis, selling its output on the spot market. The generated electricity will be fed into the local power network Sistema Interconectado Central.
Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.