About a quarter of the global population resides in 70 nations where solar energy is most suitable. This is according to the World Bank. For every MW of installed capacity, these countries’ average daily solar energy production surpasses 4.5 MWh.
The countries of the Middle East and North Africa, Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Chile, Iran, Mexico, Mongolia, and Peru. Also, a few island nations in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans dominate this ranking.
Investing in solar energy has grown from nearly $ 10 billion in 2005 to over $ 180 billion in 2017, thanks to the combined efforts of private consumers, energy businesses, and governments worldwide.
Due to a mix of low costs, abundant resources, and pro-solar government policies, solar energy is rising over most of Latin America. Renewable energy sources, particularly photovoltaic, have grown exponentially throughout the region during the previous decade.
The construction of major solar power plants in Latin America is one of the key trends in developing the local energy industry, alongside the growth of stand-alone power systems. The Villanueva solar PV plant, which has an installed capacity of 828 MW, is the largest project in Latin America and the Caribbean as of 2018 (Mexico).
Ten countries from Latin America and the Caribbean committed to using 70 per cent renewable energy in their energy mix by 2030 during the COP 25 in Madrid in 2019.
The utilisation of renewable energy sources (RES) can greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions because energy accounts for 75% of global CO2 emissions and 56% of CO2 emissions in the region. To meet the goals set out in the Paris Pact, the agreement is open to other countries to collaborate with the countries in the region that have signed on to the agreement.
Solar power plants, transformer substations, and electricity lines in Latin America are all catered to by ESFC, a Spanish engineering firm with a large international presence. We have more than 30 years of experience, advanced European technologies, a personal approach, and comprehensive services under the EPC contract in the energy sector. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at any moment to learn as much about the advantages of collaborating with ESFC.
List of Largest Solar Power Plants in Latin America
In the early 1980s, establishing large photovoltaic systems was impractical due to several technical obstacles. Over the past few decades, technological and material advancements have made multi-megawatt projects both accessible and profitable for investors.
The costs of engineering design, infrastructure development, environmental protection measures, etc., are reduced significantly when huge facilities are built. As a general rule, power plants with greater than 200 MW of capacity tend to have a lower cost of production.
The idea of transitioning to solar energy can be intimidating, which is why each option listed, for buying solar panels , offers multiple channels of customer support, including free advice and quotes, solar calculators, live chat from the website to chat with a representative and other online resources.
Prices can be difficult to compare due to the vast difference between solar panels and kits, which is why many PV panel companies do not post their prices online.
There is a wide variety of large solar plants in the United States. Let’s move forward to the list of largest solar power plants by the best solar companies in America.
This way you will learn more about solar energy before you spend your hard earned money.
Solar power plants in Uruguay
Uruguay was a pioneer in Latin American solar energy development at the start of the last decade. A specific auction for large-scale solar energy projects was held in this country first, and for a period, it was the only PV market in the region. For the first time, solar energy output in Uruguay overtook fossil-fuel electricity generation, according to the country’s National Energy Balance in 2017. Just in the past year, the amount of solar energy that has been installed has increased by nearly threefold. Despite an increase in electricity output of 3% in 2017, the use of fossil fuels declined by 46% in 2017. Despite the current oversupply, the PV sector appears to be a good investment opportunity.
La Jacinta Solar Power Project
The La Jacinta solar PV facility was completed towards the end of 2015 by the Spanish business Fotovatio Renewable Ventures. The facility is situated in the province of Salto, which is located in the north of the country. BYD of China and Ingeteam of Spain supplied 216,000 solar modules and 50 inverters for the project’s construction. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) provided $82 million in funding for the project in January 2015. Administración de Usinas y Transmisiones Eléctricas, the local energy provider, and the solar park have a 26-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
The largest solar power plants in Chile
In the northern portion of Chile, the perfect natural conditions for solar energy production are concentrated (the Atacama Desert and its surroundings). With an increasing number of existing and proposed solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities, Chile is already establishing itself as a global leader in the use of solar energy. Mercury reserves in Chile are among the greatest in the world. Photovoltaic panels and other equipment, both for generating and storing solar energy, frequently use this metal.
Solar energy is now being used more and more in households and public buildings around the country, mostly to heat water and thereby lower monthly gas and electricity bills. The cost of solar technology has reduced significantly during the past decade, resulting in a substantial rise in installed capacity. With 2,654 MW, Chile’s solar power capacity represents 11 per cent of the country’s total electricity output as of December 2019. The Chilean government actively promotes renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaics. Several agencies and organisations in the country are dedicated to promoting this industry. On the other hand, ACESOL brings together organisations and commercial firms interested in developing Chilean renewables.
El Romero Solar Farm: largest solar power plant in Chile
247 MW El Romero Solar Farm is located around Vallenara (Huasco). A few years ago, it was thought to be the biggest in Latin America. The 280-hectare site in the Atacama Desert was chosen for the project’s construction. El Romero Solar Farm generates 493 GWh of renewable electricity yearly, providing 240,000 Chilean households, despite its remote location in the middle of a lifeless desert. All of the modules in this solar power plant are made of polycrystalline silicon. 211 football pitches are equivalent to the 1.5 million square metres of solar energy-absorbing surface area. Acciona, a Spanish engineering business, built the power plant from the ground up. It was November 2016 when electricity generation began.
Finis Terrae photovoltaic plant
In early 2016, a massive solar park with 160 MW was put into operation. To power the Norte Grande interconnection system, Finis Terrae generates electricity at Maria Elena (Antofagasta). More than 189,000 Chilean households receive their electricity from the facility, which generates an annual average of 400 gigawatt-hours (GWh). Enel Green Power Chile owns and manages the solar park, which comprises five companies. The project’s total cost was $ 270 million, which was financed through a variety of means. 668,160 solar modules of 240W are installed on slanted single-axis trackers and organised into 180 panels in Finis Terrae. The power plant covers 557 hectares in total. Glass (80%), aluminium (12%), silicon (2%), and other materials make up the panels (4 per cent). When using a uniaxial tracking mechanism, the telescope can be tilted up to 20 degrees to make the most of the sun’s rays throughout its passage. 12 695 metric tonnes of PV modules are used, together with 18 560 metric tonnes of assembly structures and 7 424 metric tonnes of transformer substations to complete this project.
Luz del Norte: a new level of reliability
This is the world’s first solar power facility to provide auxiliary grid services, and it’s located in Chile. Chile’s National Electricity Coordinator gave the go-ahead for First Solar’s commercial auxiliary grid services in 2020. The solar power plant has been demonstrated to perform more reliably than gas turbines. In 2016, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) of the US Department of Energy, and First Solar tested the facility in a demonstration project.
Bolero solar plant
Chile’s the Atacama Desert is home to the Bolero solar power facility built by EDF Energies Nouvelles (EDF EN). This project is a joint venture between EDF EN and Marubeni, a Japanese firm. About 475 thousand solar modules equipped with tracking devices make up the power plant, covering more than 500 hectares. EDF EN Chile is responsible for all aspects of operation and maintenance. The Conejo Solar (Taltal) and Quilapilun (Colina) energy projects are just two of Chile’s recent large-scale solar power facilities.
Solar power plants in Ecuador
Despite Ecuador’s high level of solar radiation, the country has yet to utilise its natural resources for photovoltaic development. Ecuador’s greenhouse gas emissions make up less than 0.08% of the total emissions in the globe. Ecuador has pledged to modernise its energy industry and reduce emissions by 9 percent by 2025, notwithstanding the low levels compared to other countries. Ecuador will receive a $ 280 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in 2020 to help implement steps to reform the energy structure, enhance the energy efficiency, and expand access to renewable energy sources. The money will help the government reach its climate change targets and put in place energy sector reforms. According to IRENA, only 26 MW of solar electricity had been installed in Ecuador at the end of 2018.
Ecuador plans to build a 200 MW solar power plant.
The deadline for submitting proposals for building the largest solar system with a capacity of 200 MW was extended in April 2020. May 28th, 2019 has been set as the new deadline. Currently, Ecuador’s Ministry of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources is preparing to build the El Aromo solar power plant (200 MW) and two Villonaco II and III wind projects (110 MW) in the provinces of Manabi and Loja. Health catastrophe caused by Covid-19 epidemic damages the worldwide economy, according to the Ministry of Health.
Solar power plants in Panama
With an estimated population of 4.2 million, Panama is Latin America’s economic development leader, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, and has a promising future. The country’s National Energy Plan for 2015-2050 calls for a shift to renewable energy sources for 70% of the nation’s producing capacity. As predicted, 77% of RES will come from renewable sources such as solar, wind, and hydropower. With wind and solar power in its infancy and Panama needing to boost efforts to diversify its electricity generation, PV Info link, a Taiwan-based consultant, says. Hydropower is currently the most widely used kind of renewable energy.
Capella Solar: the largest solar park in El Salvador
The Capella Solar PV project in El Salvador will be operational in 2020, according to the French company Neoen. About 4% of the country’s electricity is generated by Capella Solar’s Albireo 1 and Albireo 2 power stations, which have a combined 140 MW of installed capacity. As a result, Capella Solar boasts Central America’s largest energy storage network. A lithium-ion battery provides backup power with 3.3 MW/ 2.23 MWh.
Solar photovoltaic plant Rubi
The world’s largest, the Rubi Solar Power Plant, was inaugurated in the Moquegua Department in 2018 (province of Mariscal Nieto). The 144.6 MW power plant, which has an installed capacity of 1.5 kilometres above sea level, can generate up to 440 GWh of electricity each year. An estimated 210,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year are avoided by the electricity generated, serving 350,000 Peruvian homes. Power from the Montalvo (Moquegua) electrical substation is fed into the solar power plant through a 22-kilometre 220 kW power line. 560 880 320 W PV modules are used to generate the 144.8 MW of installed power. Modern tracking systems are installed in the power plant.
Solar power plants in Peru
Solar photovoltaic energy may be used commercially in Peru, one of the greatest countries in the world to do so. International corporations are building new solar parks to reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels in its energy mix. Total energy output in Peru, including isolated facilities and the National Interconnected Electrical System (SEIN), increased by 3.8% in 2019, according to the Directorate-General for Electricity (DGE).
Project of the largest power plant in Nicaragua
Nicaragua’s Ministry of Energy and Mines inked an agreement with EPR in 2019 to build a 100 MW solar power plant with an expenditure of $ 100 million. The first phase of Central America’s largest photovoltaic plant has begun development (50MW). Investor Pedro Pajares is confident in Nicaragua’s ability to build large-scale solar power projects. Rappoport also indicated that further investments in mining and other areas of the local economy would be announced shortly, on top of his current announcements.
Nova Olinda Solar Plant
Located in Ribera do Piauí in Brazil, this solar plant is the largest in that country. It is capable of generating up to 600 GWh per year and has a production capacity of 292 MW. This energy is produced thanks to its 926,985 solar panels. It is estimated that this plant is capable of powering up to 300,000 homes per year. Thanks to this, it is estimated that the plant prevents 350,000 tons of CO2 from being dispersed into the environment. The plant has an area of 690 hectares. The plant was developed by the company specialized in sustainable infrastructure development, PROIDEL.
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