Chile's Verano Capital, FRV seek 40MW solar offtaker

Friday, August 22, 2014

Chile's renewable energy developer Verano Capital sold its 40MW Punta del Viento photovoltaic solar project in Chile to Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV).

The companies will co-develop the project, which is located about 500m from the Punta Colorada substation in Coquimbo region (IV), Verano managing partner Dylan Rudney told BNamericas.

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Verano owns the mining rights at the site, and authorities have granted the project all necessary environmental approvals.

The next steps will be determining how the power is sold and securing interconnection with the substation, said Rudney.

"We're actively looking for a PPA now," Rudney added. Verano and FRV will spend the next couple of months seeking a long-term offtaker, most likely a mining company or other industrial client.

The backup plan would be to sell the plant's energy on the spot market, although Rudney said Verano and FRV would prefer a PPA.

Verano is in talks with Chilean transmission company Transelec and miner Barrick Gold, which co-owns the substation, to build a transmission line between Punta Colorada and Punta del Viento, he said.

Once a PPA or spot market solution is obtained, Rudney said he and his partners would like to begin building Punta del Viento "as soon as possible," estimating that the project will be operational next year.

Verano specializes in early stage investment and development of solar projects.

The company's pipeline mainly includes 3MW projects, although it is planning to submit a declaration of environmental impact for a 100MW solar plant in Atacama region (III) in a couple of weeks, Rudney said.

Rudney estimated the investment cost for Punta del Viento between US$1.7mn/MWh and US$1.8mn/MWh.