Chile’s Cerro Dominador Concentrated Solar Power plant synced with the grid

The 110-MW Cerro Dominador concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in Chile has been successfully synchronised with the Chilean SEN grid system.

The solar thermal plant will inject electricity into the grid in stages over the coming months.

“Synchronization kicks off first phase. We then move on to the second phase, which is calibration of the operation, where we undertake a detailed adjustment of the different systems and perform the final acceptance tests on the plant. Lastly, we hope to complete the last phase with an operation that is consistent with the National Electrical Coordinator’s needs,” the Cerro Dominador company explained.

The Cerro Dominador CSP plant in the Atacama Desert, Chile. Image by Cerro Dominador (

Located in the Atacama desert, the sprawling complex consists of a 100-MW photovoltaic (PV) component and 10,600 heliostats concentrating solar radiation on a receiver installed atop a 250-metre (820 ft) central tower. Inside the tower, a storage system uses molten salts, a mix of potassium nitrate (KNO3) and sodium nitrate (NaNO3), heated to over 560 degrees Celsius (1,040 F) to generate steam to drive a 110-MW turbine.

The Cerro Dominador project is owned by Washington-based private equity firm EIG Global Energy Partners. The plant construction was entrusted to Spanish companies Abengoa and Acciona.