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Spanish renewable energy firm Abengoa began construction on the 210MW Atacama I solar complex in Chile's Antofagasta region (II).
The complex will consist of a 100MW photovoltaic (PV) plant and an 110MW solar thermal plant that will be the first of its kind in Latin America, a company statement said.
The PV plant will directly inject energy into the northern SING grid, while the solar thermal plant will use 10,600 mirrors (heliostats) to concentrate solar radiation into a receiver at the top of a 250m tower.
The radiation will heat molten salt, generating steam to power a turbine. Thermal storage of the molten salt will allow Atacama I to generate power 24 hours a day.
Abengoa expects the PV plant to launch operations by end-2015, and for the thermosolar plant to start up in 2Q17.
Abengoa previously tagged the investment cost for the project, originally called Cerro Dominador, at over US$1bn.