Italy-based energy infrastructure developer Enel Group, announded it has began the construction of its new solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, Campos del Sol, through its renewable subsidiary Enel Green Power Chile. With approximately 382 MW of installed capacity, the facility is the largest solar plant currently under construction in Chile.
The project, which is located 60 km northeast of Copiapó, Atacama Region, will involve a total investment of around 320 million US dollars.
Campos del Sol will start operations by the end of 2020 and is estimated to generate around 1,160 GWh per year, avoiding the emission of more than 900,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
The facility will boast around one million bifacial PV panels, a technology that maximises energy generation by capturing solar radiation from both sides of the panel, generating on average 12% more electricity than conventional modules.
This solar project also stands out for its innovative, digital features. The Campos del Sol construction site will leverage on state-of-the-art machinery guided and controlled by a GPS, while an autonomous drone will remotely monitor worksite activities, boosting the plant’s construction process productivity and efficiency.
As part of the development process, Enel Green Power Chile started permanent dialogue with five local indigenous Colla communities, including about 100 people, to identify impact mitigation and how this project can generate value for these communities. As a result of this process, a shared plan is ongoing with short, medium and long term projects in line with the communities’ priorities and the company’s sustainable goals, such as sustainable tourism initiatives developed in collaboration with Chilean NGO Fundación Rondó.
Antonio Cammisecra, Head of Enel Green Power, said:
“The start of construction of Campos del Sol marks a major milestone for Enel Green Power in Chile. By breaking ground at the country’s largest solar project, we are reinforcing our commitment to decarbonisation and once again confirming our leading role in the Chilean energy transition. The project’s sustainability focus, as well as innovative profile, are aimed at maximising shared returns for the Group and its stakeholders, in line with our strategy based on sustainability and innovation as key drivers for value creation.”
The Enel Group operates in Chile through Enel Chile and its subsidiaries, namely Enel Generación Chile and Enel Green Power Chile in the generation sector, Enel Distribución Chile in the distribution segment, as well as Enel X Chile in the advanced energy solutions business. Enel is Chile’s largest power company by installed capacity with around 7,500 MW, out of which 4,700 MW of renewables, composed of more than 3,500 MW of hydro, over 600 MW of wind, around 500 MW of solar and approx. 40 MW of geothermal.
Source: Press Release by Enel Group. Photo credit: © Enel Group.