18 Jun 19 News Projects Chile

New Transmission line for solar projects

  • The Irish renewable energy company is currently developing two solar projects in Tierra Amarilla, which, combined will inject 293 MW of clean, renewable energy into the national matrix.
  • Chile’s main transmission company currently connects close to 64% of the system’s installed renewable energy capacity to the national electric system and with these two projects this figure is set to increase further.

Last week Mainstream Renewable Power and Transelec signed a contract for the design, construction and delivery of the transmission line that will connect the 170 MWp Río Escondido and the 123 MWp Valle Escondido solar projects, which are located in Tierra Amarilla in the Atacama region, to the National Electric System.

Manuel Tagle, General Manager of Mainstream Latam, speaks about the company’s commitment to helping the country reach its goal of decarbonising the national energy matrix. “Río Escondido is the first photovoltaic project that the company will build in Chile and the fourth NCRE project. Helping to create a sustainable future is a fundamental part of our mission and is central to our role as a company to supply the country with clean and renewable energy,” he says. The company has operations in Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe and its current global portfolio includes over 10 GW of wind and solar projects in development, 4,000 MW of which are located in Chile.

Río Escondido - which has obtained its Environmental Qualification Resolution- will be made up of 550,368 photovoltaic solar panels, which will generate enough energy to meet the yearly energy demands of 158,000 homes.  Valle Escondido, in turn, will be made up of 382,000 photovoltaic panels, generating the equivalent yearly energy consumption of 105,000 homes.

For Sebastián Fernández, Vice-president of Business Development at Transelec, this agreement combines the commitment, competitiveness and business agility of the country’s main electricity transmission company with the promotion of renewable energy in Chile. “For a number of years, Transelec has been working on projects that allow renewable energy to be injected into the National Electric System. In fact, 64% of renewable energy capacity that has been installed in the last five years in Chile has been connected to the matrix by our company”.

Works will begin on the 220 kV transmission line later this year. The line will be 55.5 km in length with approximately 180 towers or structures that will support the line which will transport energy from the solar farms to Transelec’s Cardones substation. Firstly, this transmission line will connect the Río Escondido project to the national electric system and later will also provide access for the Valle Escondido project.