SANTIAGO, Chile, June 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- President Michelle Bachelet of Chile inaugurated the Amanecer Solar CAP plant in Copiapo today; it is the largest photovoltaic solar power plant in Latin America and one of the largest in the world. The project was developed, built and interconnected by SunEdison, Inc. (NYSE: SUNE), a leading solar developer and technology provider, under an offtake agreement with CAP Group, the largest iron ore and pellet producer on the American Pacific coast, the largest steel producer in Chile and the most significant steel processor in the Southern Cone of South America.
The Amanecer Solar CAP plant has 100 MW of total installed capacity; the amount of energy consumed each year by approximately 125,000 Chilean homes, or equivalent to 10% of the renewable energy generation capacity goal established by the Chilean Government for 2014. The project involves an investment of US $250 million and is critical for the future development of renewable energy in Chile and Latin America.
Located 37 kilometers from Copiapo in the Atacama Desert, the plant has more than 310,000 photovoltaic modules spread over 250 acres. The Amanecer Solar CAP plant was built in only six months and all of its energy is injected into the Central Interconnected System, which lowers the net cost of grid electricity.
In its first year of operation it is estimated that the plant will inject 270 GWh (gigawatt hours) of clean energy into the system. To generate the same amount of energy using diesel would require more than 71 million liters of fuel.