Acciona Energía has begun the start-up phase of the 'El Romero Solar' photovoltaic solar plant in Latin America, with a maximum capacity of 246MWp (196MW rated power), just 13 months after starting construction work. The company has also completed the assembly of the last sets of panels in the plant: 776,000 photovoltaic modules with a solar capture surface area of more than 1.5 million square meters (equivalent to 211 soccer pitches).
Located in the region of Atacama, Chile, the plant – 100% owned by Acciona – has already been connected to the Central Interconnected System (SIC) of that country, starting a process that will continue over the next weeks until the whole installation enters commercial service.
El Romero Solar is located in the municipality of Vallenar, around 645km north of Santiago, with a surface area of 280 hectares in the Atacama Desert. It represents an investment of around 343 million dollars for Acciona. Once completed, it will produce around 500GWh of clean energy per year, equivalent to the electricity demand of 240,000 Chilean homes, and avoid the emission of around 475,000 metric tons of CO2 from coal-fired power stations in the process.
Acciona Energía Chile General Manager José Ignacio Escobar expressed his satisfaction at having completed the installation of the photovoltaic panels in the plant and its grid connection in just 13 months, two less than the initial timescale contained in the construction plan.
"We completed the project in record time", he says, highlighting "Acciona's technical and financial capability to take on all the challenges posed by the installation of a project of this size. We are committed to the objective of achieving a clean and sustainable energy mix in Chile, and the best way to demonstrate this is to complete the projects we undertake to the technical quality standards required and in the shortest possible timescale. Acciona Energía will maintain this approach in any other project it may carry out in the country."