Chile goes 100% green in energy supply auction


In the last energy procurement auction 1200 gigawatt-hours of power, wind and solar projects managed to completely edge out fossil fuels even though the country provided no subsidies for renewable energy. In the prior tender 80% went to fossil fuels while thine time with no contracts were awarded for fossil fuel generation.

Two thirds of the power under the latest auction will be supplied by two wind farms in central Chile with a combined installed capacity of 265MW. The remainder will come from three solar projects.

The average price under the auction was US$79.30/MWh. First Solar via the project company SCB II SpA 2 will supply 88GWh under the 20-year contract at US$67-$68 per MWh. Solarpack will provide 110GWh through a 55MW solar PV project at US $65/MWh.

And lastly and most surprisingly, leading solar thermal company Abengoa will deliver 39 GWh at US$97/MWh in two overnight blocks via storage of energy collected from the sun during daylight hours. Such a price for electricity from solar thermal via storage represents a major breakthrough, with many energy analysts assuming far higher costs for solar thermal-based projects.

Chile’s biggest challenge remains the bridging of the gulf between the grid in the north and the grid in the south where a lot of energy is needed. However, Chile is on its way to become a green country and economy.