Chilean utility Colbun has announced the successful acquisition of environmental approval for its USD 450 million Celda Solar solar-plus-storage project in the Arica y Parinacota region of northern Chile. With an ambitious capacity of 421.9 MW of solar energy complemented by a battery energy storage system (BESS) of 240 MW/1,200 MWh, this endeavor marks a significant step towards renewable energy advancement in the region.
Jose Ignacio Escobar, CEO of Colbun, emphasized the project's magnitude, stating, “Once built, this project will be the largest solar investment developed so far in the Region of Arica y Parinacota, with a battery system that will make it one of the largest storage projects in the country.”
Spanning approximately 960 hectares (2,372 acres) of public land, Celda Solar will be adorned with over 703,700 bifacial panels, a testament to its scale and commitment to harnessing solar energy. Colbun anticipates an average annual generation of around 1,100 GWh from the facility, a significant contribution to Chile's renewable energy portfolio.
The Arica y Parinacota region boasts conducive conditions for solar energy exploitation, with potential solar installation capacity reaching up to 43,000 MW, as per data from the University of Chile. Colbun underscores the region's suitability, citing high levels of radiation, clear skies throughout most of the year, and ample land availability for solar power projects.
With environmental approval secured, Colbun's Celda Solar project not only signifies a monumental investment in renewable energy infrastructure but also heralds a promising era of sustainable energy development in Chile's northern region.