Chile launches its first Concentrating Solar Power tendering process

The launch took place one year after the announcement by the president Sebastián Piñera of the National Energy Strategy Plan 2012 -2030.

Bunster said that the CSP plant “will allow us to use of natural [solar] resources, diversify our energy mix and will provide us with greater energy independence whilst reducing carbon emissions”

To ensure the CSP project is financially viable, Chile´s Ministry of Energy operating through Corfo will provide a subsidy of up to $20 million, as well as to optionally facilitate the access to land for the plant.


Additionally, the government has negotiated a consortium of sources of financing mounting up to over US $350 million in soft loans.

• A direct subsidy from the European Union of up to US$ 18,6 million
• The Inter American Development Bank (IADB) will provide loans for at least US$66 million and up to 25% of the total project costs
• The German Development Bank (KfW) will provide loans worth €100 million, channeled through CORFO and local banks


The tender was revealed through a tendering document that can be downloaded from Corfo´s website in Spanish.

The project will be of any scale upwards of a minimum of 10MWe, and it will be connected to either SIC or SING (the Centre and Great North grid respectively)

Technical characteristics

• The plant can be of any CSP technology, including parabolic trough, tower, fresnel and dish. The plant must also have a mínimum of 3 hours of storage at 85% load, in order to guarantee the ability to dispatch. In the case of a tie the resolution of the tender, with all other metrics been equal, the committee will choose the plant with the largest amount of storage.
• Back up fuel is not allowed, other than to maintain thermal fluids and/or molten salts at the right temperature to avoid freezing. In any case the amount of back up fuel cannot be higher than 6% of the annual electricity generated by the plant.

Each project being considered for the tender must include a year´s worth of meteorological data, including solar radiation data, wind speed and temperature at the location of the plant. The company must also undertake at least 6 months’ worth of DNI on-ground measurements after the project has been approved.

Land & Water
The solar developer can either put their own location/land forwards in their proposal or use the land which the government has available for this project at Maria Elena.
Regarding water issues, the developer has to declare the amount that will be required for operation and maintenance of the plant.

Track Record
The proposing company must present a summary of track record in CSP (either direct experience or experience through a subcontracted company) including information about the degree of participating in engineering, construction, design and O+M of another CSP plant with a minimum of 10MW in size. The data to be submitted includes detailed information of project´s metrics.

Developers will have to demonstrate they have arranged either a PPA or a MoU for the purchase of electricity. MoU´s will have to be resolved into a PPA within 12 months of Corfo´s resolution. The promoter could also sell in the SPOT market although financing could be complicated in this case.


  • Day 0 – launch of tender (28/02/13)
  • Day 45 – deadline to present queries
  • Day 75 – deadline for answers to be given
  • Day 75 – deadline for all clarifications regarding tendering process
  • Day 120 – dealine to accept proposals
  • Day 160 – results of the evaluation by Comisión Técnica de Evaluación

The full text (in Spanish) can be downloaded from Corfo´s website:…