ACCIONA to Double Its Renewable Capacity in Latin America by 2020
- Nov 07, 2017
ACCIONA Energia committed to double its renewable energy capacity in Latin America and surpass 2,000 megawatts by 2020, owned and operated entirely by the company. The announcement was made at the opening ceremony for the El Romero Solar photovoltaic plant in the Atacama Desert (Chile), a 246-megawatt facility.
The sustainable solutions provider currently owns 897 megawatts of wind and photovoltaic power capacity in the region, specifically in Chile, Mexico and Costa Rica. During the last trimester of 2017, the company will work on adding another 700 megawatts, slated for commercial operation in 2018 and 2019.
“Chile meets all the conditions to be a leader in the development of renewable energy in the world and our El Romero Solar plant is a perfect example of it,” ACCIONA President José Manuel Entrecanales said in a prepared statement. “What has been termed as non-conventional renewable energies today are in fact the energies that are going to become the conventional ones because they will be the ones that are imposed on all other generation technologies,” he added.
The largest Chilean solar farm
After only 13 months under development, El Romero Solar begun commercial operation a year ago. It is located 400 miles north of Santiago and covers nearly 700 acres in the Atacama Desert. The solar plant produces sufficient renewable energy to power 240,000 Chilean homes, while avoiding the emission of approximately 475,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
The system consists of 776,000 photovoltaic modules with a solar capture surface area of over 370 square acres. The solar facility is fully owned by ACCIONA and is connected to the Chilean Central Interconnected System (SIC) grid. The energy it generates has been used by Google’s data center in Chile since January. The contract is slated to run until 2030. Starting next year, the plant will supply its distributors in the SIC.
Chile’s renewable sector shows some of the best prospects in Latin America. According to the International Energy Agency, Chile can reach a 50 percent share of sustainable energy—including hydroelectric power— in its energy mix in just five years compared with 39 percent in 2016. The goal can be reached with the addition of 5.2 gigawatts of non-conventional renewable energies expected to come on stream during this time.
Video courtesy of ACCIONA