Chile plans to develop a 750 MW to 1 GW solar park to support the mining industry in the Atacama region. The new solar park, “Solar District” will need $4 billion of investment and create 3,000 jobs in the process.
Plans for the solar park were announced at COP22 in Morocco by environment minister, Pablo Badenier, and Eduardo Bitran, executive vice president of Chilean development agency, Corfo, while presenting Chile’s national climate change strategy. Mining activities account for a large portion of CO2 emissions in Chile, and the government is making efforts to decrease fossil fuel usage in the industry.
Chile will be seeking to boost its local solar industry as part of this strategy, aiming to lower PV costs to $0.02/kWh by 2025. In addition to the solar economy, important infrastructure investments will be made at the interconnection between the central and northern grids. Chile will also explore improving energy storage technologies using available lithium salt. About 100 new companies are anticipated to take part in Chile’s solar industry by 2025 as a result of this development.