Six firms to install 1.7GW wind in Chile after land tender

Ministry of Land confirms companies have won tender to use government land in Chile’s Atacama Desert

The Chilean government hopes to attract more investment in renewables (pic credit: SGRE)

AES Corp, EDF, Enel Green Power, Grenergy, Ibereolica and Statkraft have committed to make investments worth US$3.1 billion in a mix of wind, solar and energy storage capacity, after being awarded concessions covering almost 17,000 hectares in Chile’s Atacama Desert.

As well as wind capacity, the companies are set to install more than 1,000MW of solar PV capacity and 480MW of energy storage.

“This tender not only represents an important boost to renewable energy generation, historic in terms of the surface area made available, the commitments to investment, installed capacity and tax revenues, but also a substantial contribution to a sustainable economic recovery,” said lands minister Julio Isamit.

Enel Green Power will make the largest investment of US$740 million in a complex combining a 750MW wind farm and 150MW of energy storage capacity, while Ibereolica plans to invest just over US$600 million to install more than 700MW of wind capacity and 30MW of energy storage capacity on two parcels of lands covering more than 5,400 hectares.

Meanwhile, Spain’s Grenergy, a newcomer to Chile, plans to invest US$520 million after winning three land packages, where it plans to develop a mix of wind and solar with 600MW of capacity.

The tender is the latest to be held by the Chilean government in a bid to attract investment in renewables in northern Chile, taking advantage of the region’s considerable potential for wind and solar energy. Today 40% of Chile’s wind and solar capacity has been built on government land.

In September, energy firm Colbun announced that it was starting construction on the 778MW Horizonte wind farm, which it said would be the largest in Latin America, on land it won in a 2017 tender.