Colbún S.A., the Chile state-owned utility company engaged in the electric power transmission segment, has recently announced the award of a 15-year power purchase agreement to Total and SunPower for 500 gigawatt hours (GWh) of photovoltaic solar energy per year.
The decision resulted from a competitive tender process, in which more than 13 companies participated submitting more than 20 power purchase agreements (PPA) alternatives.
SunPower will design and build the 164 MW photovoltaic solar Oasis Power plant and provide operations and maintenance once it is operational. Oasis is a fully-integrated, modular solar power block that is engineered for rapid and cost-effective deployment of utility-scale solar projects while optimizing land use.
The technology includes robotic solar panel cleaning capability that uses 75 percent less water than traditional cleaning methods and can help improve system performance by up to 15 percent.
Sunpower and Total have also developed the 70 MW Salvador solar photovoltaic power plant located in the Atacama region of Chile. The farm was built using SunPower high-efficiency, single-axis tracker technology and it began operations in January 2015.
Bernard Clément, senior vice president of Business & Operations, of the New Energies division of Total, commented
"As a world leader in the solar industry, we are proud to launch a new solar project with Colbún, delivering 500 gigawatt hours per year of reliable, cost-effective clean power. We are pleased to assist Chile in the diversification of its energy mix and we look forward to further developing our solar activities in the country. This project supports our ambition to become the responsible energy major."
Eduardo Medina, executive vice president, global power plants, SunPower, said:
"SunPower is proud to provide Colbún's customers with cost-competitive, renewable solar power. Solar is an ideal energy source for Chile because of the country's high solar resource and transparent energy policies. In partnership with Total, SunPower is committed to the continued growth of our business in Chile."