World record low bid of 39,99/MWh for Concentrated Solar Power in Chile’s auction

The renewable energy auction held this week by the Chilean National Energy Commission (CNE) has not only seen the lowest bid ever recorded for a large scale PV project in Latin America – $0.01332/kWh – but has also delivered a bid of $0.0399/kWh for a concentrated solar power (CSP) project, which is the lowest offer ever reported for an energy auction at a global level to date.

The announcement was given by the Chilean association Asociación de Concentración Solar de Potencia (ACSP), which revealed that the bid relates to the 390 MW Likana Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project, under development by U.S.-based SolarReserve.

“This shows that CSP is a competitive technology that advances very quickly in reducing costs,” the trade body said, in a statement. “The solar thermal technology is the answer to advance in the decarbonization process in Chile. We reiterate the need for our authorities to deliver regulatory and economic signals that allow promoting investment in continuous renewable energies such as CSP, geothermal and pumped-storage, among others, since they represent the ideal replacement for coal.”

Chile is currently hosting a 110 MW CSP project built by Spanish renewable energy company Acciona – the Cerro Dominador plant. The project is located in the Atacama Desert, renowned as the region with the highest concentration of solar irradiation in the world. The CSP plant is owned by EIG Global Energy Partners, whereas the Spanish company has been contracted to act as EPC and to conduct operations and maintenance on the project.

The project, which also includes a 100 MW PV unit, obtained partial financing from a program run by the European Union and the German development bank, is being built at a cost of €1.41 billion ($1.7 billion).