Enel Chile starts construction of new solar plants and announces battery-powered wind farms

As part of its Investor Day, Enel Chile announced new renewable projects that are part of its 2022-2024 Strategic Plan. In the North, the construction of two photovoltaic projects for approximately 773 MW will begin. At the same time, in the south, the development of two battery-powered wind farms will begin, the first of their kind to be executed by Enel Green Power in the country, totaling 286 MW, of which 226 MW correspond to wind energy and approximately 60 MW in batteries.

The company will add 3.3 GW of renewable capacity by 2024, including 1.3GW of new capacity already under construction that will connect to the system by the beginning of 2022.

“Continuing to promote the development of renewable initiatives is key for the country and helps drive a sustainable economic recovery. Our new projects confirm the strength of our renewable energy growth plan in Chile. Today we announce a new capacity for the 2022- 2024 period. We are strongly committed to having an increasingly greener matrix and achieve carbon neutrality by 2040, thus helping to improve the quality of life of all our stakeholders”, said Paolo Pallotti, Enel Chile’s general manager.

New solar capacity in the North

Construction of the Sierra Gorda Solar photovoltaic project begins in the region of Antofagasta. The new photovoltaic farm will have a capacity of 375 MW and be located on the same site as the Sierra Gorda Este wind farm. It will make it the second hybrid-scale generation plant and most extensive in the country, using photovoltaic panels and wind turbines.

Campos del Sol II is located in the commune of Diego de Almagro, in the Atacama region. The project under construction will have a capacity of 398 MW and is underway on a usable area of 1,000 hectares.

The Valle del Sol photovoltaic park is at an advanced stage of construction on a 367-hectare site in the commune of María Elena in the Antofagasta Region, as part of another of the group’s projects. The new solar plant will have an installed capacity of 163 MW.

The first battery-powered wind farms

Construction of the first wind projects, which incorporate battery systems, is expected to begin in 2022. La Cabaña wind farm’s construction will start at the beginning of 2022, and its location is Angol, in the Araucanía region. It will have a capacity of 106 MW, plus approximately 30 MW of batteries. A new wind farm will also start, Rihue, in Negrete in the Biobío region, with an installed capacity of 120 MW, including approximately 30 MW of batteries.

These projects are highly relevant since they will reduce the dependence on hydroelectric generation, affected by the drought. They will also complement solar production by delivering energy mainly during non-solar hours, generating clean energy during peak hours.

“The incorporation of energy storage systems in our projects allows us to mitigate system operation risks, strengthening the flexibility of our portfolio in support of the decarbonization of our energy matrix,” said Paolo Pallotti, Enel Chile’s general manager.

These projects are part of a renewable initiatives portfolio that seeks to add 3.3 GW of installed capacity by 2024. With this figure, the group will reach a 80% renewable matrix by 2024 to reach a minimum of 85% renewable capacity by 2030.