Mirrors from a solar plant in Spain. Chile is announcing what could be the first solar thermal plant in South America. Photo: Alex Lang.
Seems like a good week for South America in terms of encouragement of renewable energies. Yesterday we mentioned the announcement by a Spanish company to build in Argentina what could be the world's largest wind park. Now, we bring you the news that Chilean president Michele Bachelet has said that by 2010, the country will have doubled its installed capacity of clean energy generation.
According to SciDev, Chile is incorporating seven new projects of wind power generation with a capacity to generate 850 megawatts. The country is also calling for a contest to install a solar farm of 500 kilowatts and a solar thermal plant of 10 megawatts in the north of the country. Information on the new wind projects wasn't released, but the solar farm will be installed in a 2,000 hectares area at San Pedro de Atacama, a 5,000 people town in the Atacama dessert.
The farm could enter function in 2010 and could power the entire town, which now lives from natural gas and diesel.
On the other hand, the solar thermal plant could be inaugurated in 2012 and, according to SciDev, is going to be the first of this kind in South America (remember solar thermal plants are not the same as solar farms, which are extended in South America).
During these announcements, president Bachelet also mentioned the country is creating a new center for renewable energy, which will seek to promote efficiency and will look for potential opportunities of renewables in the country. The center is called ERNC.
Chile's National Energy Commission (site in Spanish)
More on Renewable Energy in Latin America:
World's Largest Wind Power Park To Be Built in Argentina
Mexico Launches $550 Million Wind Farm in Oaxaca
Peru: 4500 Megawatt Wind Power Projects in Study