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María Elena thermosolar plant

Project Stages

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Early Works
Current Stage: Awaiting construction decision
Start: 07/2013
In Construction
Project Details


María Elena will feature four independent 100MW plants spread over an area of 2,897ha. The complex will be built in two stages, each one expected to take 38 months to complete. Each 100MW plant will comprise 8,800 heliostats mounted on double-axis PV trackers that will capture and reflect the Atacama desert's rich solar radiation (up to 4,800kcal/m2 a day) onto a 260m-high collector tower. The concentrated radiation will be used to heat thermal fluids made up mostly of molten salt, which then will be used to produce steam, allowing the generation of electricity through a 100MW steam-turbine generator. The project includes a double circuit 220kV transmission line that will run 17.5km to the Encuentro substation, injecting 2,590GWh/y to the country's northern SING grid.

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Milestones Log and News

Principal Works

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  • * Figures and dates are as per the latest publicly available information, as well as information gathered by BNamericas reporters and analysts and are subject to change.

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Key Specs

Full Name
María Elena thermosolar plant
Project Type
Development Phase
Awaiting construction decision
Project Status
Project Capacity
400  MW (megawatt)  Solar
US$ 3.29bn
Completion Date

The María Elena thermosolar project is planned for the district of María Elena.

* The map coordinates represent the approximate latitude and longitude, and not the exact location of the project.

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Owner / operator
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