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Solar plants offer lowest prices in Chile's latest energy auction

Solar Farm. Author: Michael Mees meesphotography.com License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

November 3 (SeeNews) -Chile’s energy tender last week showed that solar power can come cheaper than wind, with both outbidding fossil fuels in terms of price.

Also, a concentrated solar power (CSP) producer offered an unexpectedly low price for CSP power helped by energy storage.

WIND, SOLAR and COAL

Renewables won 100% of the tendered contracts for the supply of 1,200 GWh energy to unregulated customers in Chile. The average price achieved was USD 79.3 (EUR 72.3) per MWh, according to a press release by one of the winning companies -- Ireland’s Mainstream Renewable Power.

More specifically, three solar parks offered to sell their output at between USD 65 and USD 68 per MWh. Two wind farms in central Chile, developed by Mainstream, bid a price of USD 79/MWh. The wind parks will supply 65% of the total amount targeted by the tender.

As for coal, major power producer AES Gener sought USD 85/MWh for power backed up 100% by a coal-fired power plant.

CSP WITH STORAGE

Chile’s tender also resulted in a contract for 39 GWh of solar thermal power, or CSP, at USD 97/MWh. The power will be delivered in two overnight blocks thanks to storage capacity.

“This price from solar thermal via storage is a major breakthrough, with energy analysts assuming far higher costs for solar thermal-based projects,” noted Mainstream.

(USD 1 = EUR 0.912)

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Browse all articles from Tsvetomira Tsanova

Tsvet has been following the development of the global renewable energy industry for almost nine years. She's got a soft spot for emerging markets.

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