Solar Chile, a subsidiary of Fundación Chile, and First Solar have signed a strategic alliance to co-develop solar projects in Chile. First Solar will provide its cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules and engineering and procurement services to future development projects, subject to execution of definitive project agreements.
As a joint venture between Fundación Chile and a group of local private investors, Solar Chile is a developer and operator of utility-scale solar plants that aims to accelerate the timeframe required to make solar energy competitive in Chile. “Together we will transform Chile into the first country in Latin America to generate solar energy at competitive prices,” says Solar Chile’s CEO Cristián Sjögren.
At the signing ceremony at Fundación Chile in Vitacura, Kathleen Weiss, VP of federal government & corporate affairs, and Kim Oster, director of business development, Latin America for First Solar, gave presentations on solar’s rapidly declining costs and provided a global perspective on the development of a sustainable solar industry in Chile. “With strong growth projections, significant energy demand and abundant solar resource, Chile represents a tremendous opportunity to generate clean, renewable solar electricity cost effectively,” said Oster.
Northern Chile has a solar resource that is among the most abundant in the world, and Fundación Chile has been exploring its potential by implementing measurement services and pilot projects and by working in conjunction with the regional government on initiatives such as the Atacama Solar Platform, which has the goal to convert the plentiful solar resource in the Atacama Desert into a source of competitive and sustainable energy.
Fundación Chile works to support this and several other initiatives, including Solar Chile, related to developing the solar cluster, an industry ecosystem that will bring together technology and service companies, promote R&D, and support human capital development related to the broader solar energy sector.