ACCIONA Energía Chile has been awarded 506 GWh/year of electricity output for twenty years in the biggest energy tender called to date by the Chilean Administration. The tender was open to both renewable and conventional technologies. ACCIONA will build a 183 MW wind farm to meet the output won at auction.
The new wind farm, called San Gabriel, will be located 5 km east of the town of Renaico in the region of La Araucanía. Its renewable electricity will be sufficient to supply 250,000 homes in Chile while avoiding the emission of 486,000 metric tons of CO2 a year from coal-fired power stations.
“The result of the tender once again highlights the fact that our renewables-based solutions are very competitive, even against conventional technologies,” says José Ignacio Escobar, General Manager of ACCIONA Energia Chile. “It reaffirms ACCIONA’s commitment to participate in Chile’s development based on sustainable economic, social and environmental parameters.”
To deliver the new output, ACCIONA will sign contracts with the electric power distribution companies that operate in the Central Interconnected System (SIC) and the Northern Power Grid (SING) to supply customers subject to price regulation. The two systems account for more than 90% of electricity production in Chile.
The electricity output awarded to ACCIONA came under block 3 of the National Electricity Commission’s tender. It will require round-the-clock generation between January 1st 2022 and December 31st 2041.
The energy auction, called by the National Energy Commission in May 2015, attracted bids from 84 national and international companies, with 82% corresponding to renewables and the remaining 18% to conventional technologies. The total energy offered for tender was 12,430 GWh/year, equivalent to around 30% of the consumption of regulated market customers from 2021.
In Chile’s first auction for renewable and conventional power, in December 2014, ACCIONA was also awarded supply contracts totalling 600 GWh/year for 2018-2032.
ACCIONA operates a 45 MW wind farm in Punta Palmeras, in the region of Coquimbo, that entered into service in 2014. It is now building Latin America’s largest photovoltaic plant at El Romero, in the Atacama Region III. This 246 MWp facility will become operational in stages between 2016 and 2017. The company has a number of wind power and photovoltaic projects in its portfolio.
In addition to renewable energy, ACCIONA has been active in Chile with major infrastructure and water projects for the past 20 years. It built and now operates a 91-km Ruta 160 highway concession in southern Chile. Other major projects have included the ventilation tunnels of Chuquicamata’s underground mine and the Exequiel González Cortés Hospital in Santiago. In water management, ACCIONA has built the first desalination plant with reverse osmosis technology for the mining industry in Caldera (Copiapó), and four wastewater treatment plants.
Worldwide, ACCIONA Energía owns and operates 8,676 MW in 14 countries in five continents. Its entire production of 20.9 TWh in 2015 was 100% renewable.