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Chilean Authorities Approve 250 MW Solar Project

The €240 million Parque Fotovoltaico Sol de Vallenar project is being developed by Spain’s Cox Energy in Chile’s northern region of Atacama.

The Atacama Desert in northern Chile. Many solar projects have been carried out in this region thanks to its high solar radiation.

Chile’s environmental authority Servicio de Evaluación Ambiental has approved the construction of the Sol de Vallenar Photovoltaic Park, a 250 MW solar plant planned for the municipality of Vallenar, in Chile’s northern desert region of Atacama.

According to a related SEA document, the plant will use approximately 980,000 PV modules and will include the construction of one 220 kV interconnection line with an approximate extension of 8.5 km and of a 0.4 km long transmission line.

It also said that the plant will generate 731 jobs and represent an investment of US$620 million. These figures, however, were submitted by Sol de Vallenar Spa, a subsidiary of Cox Energy, in 2014.

In a seperate, more recent, press release, Cox said the investment will amount to €240 million and will create over 300 jobs at the time of its construction, and 20 jobs in the operation and maintenance phase.

The Spanish power provider entered the solar business this year by securing a long-term PPA for 660 MW of solar power from Spain’s power distributor, Audax. At the time, it said it would develop the new solar plants alongside an unnamed international partner, without providing more technical or financial details about the projects or the PPA.

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