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Chinese solar firm starts work on PV first for Chile

18MW solar power plant is first renewable energy project between China and Latin American country

The Arica project is the first solar power development between China and Chile

A Chinese firm has started the development of what will be the first large scale ground-mounted PV power plant in Chile. Shanghai-based company Sky Solar is building the 18MW solar plant, which is the first renewable energy project between China and the Latin American country.

Sky Solar, which is one of the world’s only independent international renewable energy developers, is building the plant in Chile’s northern Arica province. The Arica project is the first and largest ground-mounted grid parity project in Chile and will be developed and constructed 100 per cent with Sky Solar’s own capital.

The project is also a milestone among an agreement signed by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in June this year. This outlined a total of 300MW of projects developed by Sky Solar with their partners Sigdo Koppers and China Development Bank.

The Chinese ambassador to Chile, Wanming Yang, said: “This is the first investment project associated with renewable energy between China and Chile, as well as being an important result from the efforts of both parties looking to expand their investment and successful cooperation. This project combines China’s renewable energy advantages with Chile’s strong electricity demand and demonstrates one of the ways in which these two economies can complement one another and shows the amount of potential for these two countries in the future.

"I am very confident that this project will provide better service to Chile’s electricity supply in the northern part of Chile, while promoting local economic and social development," he added.

Sky Solar’s CEO Amy Zhang, said: “All partners involved are helping not only Sky Solar but the global renewable industry realise new energy parity grid-dreams. We hope to prove that Sky Solar not only has the desire to develop projects, but the capability and experience to successfully construct, operate and maintain these assets so that we can realise our promises to promote grid-parity new energy projects in Chile and Latin America."

The news from Sky Solar is more evidence that Chile is becoming a hotspot for renewable energy development. In May this year, construction started on what will be Chile’s largest wind power project.