Chile and Uruguay
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Southern Cone watch: Chile payments chain, Uruguay electromobility

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, October 06, 2022

Chile’s national energy commission CNE will head a working group tasked with analyzing the state of play in the electric power payments chain.

CNE officials will work with industry stakeholders, energy minister Diego Pardow said, according to media outlet Reporte Sostenible.

Payment chain stress was thrust into the spotlight last week when it was reported that María Elena Solar, a unit of Spain’s Solarpack, had told grid coordinator CEN it could not continue meeting its payment obligations in the short-term market, citing factors beyond its control. 

“For now, it’s a situation that is controlled and that only affects one company,” Pardow was quoted as saying.

Solar power association Acesol called for “prudence and calm,” the report said. 

María Elena Solar operates the 123MW Granja Solar power plant in northern Tarapacá region.

Building out transmission infrastructure to support the addition of renewables capacity is deemed vital to a smooth and efficient energy transition in the country. Rapid growth of renewables plants in Chile’s resource-rich north has contributed to grid congestion. A major transmission line project is expected to enter service by 2030, as lawmakers advance in congress a bill designed to support growth of standalone energy storage infrastructure, vital to mitigate the intermittency of solar and wind plants. 

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Uruguay’s industry, energy and mining ministry launched a program offering financial benefits to people or companies that buy an electric motorbike or an electric three-wheeled unit.

Officials, under the Subite electric vehicle program, will grant buyers a 10% cashback and an electricity bill discount as well as provide a year’s free insurance and energy savings-related cash benefits after 12 months of use.

The benefits plan will cover up to 1,000 motorbikes and 100 electric three-wheelers. 

Uruguay, which obtains almost all of its power from clean sources and does not have a domestic hydrocarbons production industry, is working to build out its fleet of electric vehicles and national network of electric vehicle charging points.  

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