Chile and Spain

Chile permitting roundup: US$440mn in solar PV, energy storage hybrid projects

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, February 08, 2023

Chilean developer oEnergy has submitted a US$66mn solar PV-storage project for environmental review.

The proposed plant, planned for south-central region Maule, will have installed capacity of 24MW and an eight-hour duration battery system comprising 66 container units.

Work on the project, dubbed Cormorán, is penciled in to start in early 2025, according to documents filed with environmental review agency SEA.

The company, originally formed to provide turnkey solutions for the distributed generation segment, cites an “excellent solar resource” in the target zone and availability of grid infrastructure. A 1.54km transmission line is planned.

ALSO READ: Key priorities for Chile's budding power storage segment

Meanwhile, a US$372mn solar PV-storage project submitted by FRV Services Chile, a unit of Spanish renewables developer FRV, has been accepted once again for review. 

SEA had put an early end to the 458MW project’s evaluation last year, citing a lack of information.

The company plans to build the plant – Llanos de Marañón – in Atacama region. The production capacity of the planned battery storage facility is 480MWh. A 24.5km transmission line is also planned.

Construction work is due to start in early 2024, according to project documents. 


According to a January report from Chilean renewables and storage chamber Acera, 113MW in solar PV-battery storage capacity is in the testing phase. In addition, 150MW (solar-battery) is under construction, 939MW (919MW solar-battery, 20MW wind-battery) has an environmental license and 2.14GW (1.85GW solar-battery and 291MW wind-battery) is in the environmental evaluation phase.

In terms of standalone energy storage, 64MW (battery) is in operation, 60MW (battery) is under construction, 218MW (168MW battery and 50MW liquid air) has environmental approval and 617MW (57MW solar-battery and 560MW molten salt) is in the environmental review phase. 

The liquid air project is proposed by Highview Enlasa and the molten salt initiative by AES Andes, as part of the company's shift away from coal-fired generation. Both storage projects would be the first of their kind in Chile 

In a context of transmission congestion and curtailment in some parts of the country, interest in energy storage is growing as the focus sharpens on ways to inject power from renewables during the afternoons and at night, when clean energy generation falls, transmission pressure eases and marginal costs climb.  

A government energy storage and electromobility bill became law last year. Secondary legislation that will govern its implementation, in turn providing signals for investors, is due to be published by end-November. The law is expected to help spur investment in standalone storage – that is, storage units not incorporated into a power plant complex – by permitting owners to be remunerated for injection and capacity. 

ALSO READ: Chilean generator Colbún’s renewables, green hydrogen push

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