Harvard/IDB Infrastructure 360 Awards Case Study: The Pozo Almonte and Calama Solar Photovoltaic Project

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Description

This case study outlines the evaluation of the Pozo Almonte 2 & 3, two solar photovoltaic installations in Chile. Specifically, the Pozo Almonte 2 & 3 projects consist of the design, construction, operation and maintenance of two plants with a combined 25 MW of photovoltaic solar power for the provision of energy to Compañía Minera Doña Inés de Collahuasi.

Construction of the Pozo Almonte plants was scheduled to begin in January/February 2013 with operations scheduled to commence by the end of 2013. It is anticipated that the plants will generate 60,000 MWh of clean energy per year, which is equivalent to the energy consumption of 25,000 households, and will avoid the emission of 58,865 tons (45,359 tonnes) of CO2 every year.

The plants were built and are owned and operated by SolarPack Corporación Tecnológica, S.L. (SolarPack), a Spanish company. In July 2012, SolarPack was awarded a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) by Collahuasi as the result of a tendering process for the provision of 60 GWh/year of non-conventional renewable energy (NCRE). The Pozo Almonte 2 & 3 plants were developed by SolarPack’s Chilean subsidiary, SolarPack Chile, S.A. SolarPack provided all engineering, procurement and construction services, as well as the continuing operation, maintenance and asset management services for the project.  In addition, in 2012, SolarPack completed construction of and is operating a 1 MW solar photovoltaic plant to sell energy under a 21 year PPA to Codelco for its Chuquicamata mine operations.

The estimated total cost of all three components of the project is US $80 million, which will be funded through a combination of equity and debt. Along with loans from IDB and other banks, the project is seeking financing from the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in the Americas (C2F), a fund established by the Government of Canada and managed by IDB to catalyze increased private sector investment in climate change mitigation and adaptation.

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