According to GTM Research's Latin America PV Playbook, Q2 2014, released today, Chile installed 153 megawatts of utility-scale PV in the first quarter of this year. That's more than three times the amount that any Latin American country has ever before installed in a single quarter.
“The last quarter has been a testament to the real pipeline now emerging in Chile,” said GTM Research global solar analyst Adam James. “The market has strong fundamentals, and we are seeing that companies like SunEdison can leverage a variety of business models to execute deals on those fundamentals. Both the PPA and merchant markets in Chile have exciting near-term potential, and several companies have secured financing and have projects moving forward."
Source: GTM Research Latin America PV Playbook, Q2 2014
One completed project of note is the San Andres solar power plant. Its 50.7 megawatts make it the largest merchant project in the world with spot prices competing on the open market.
Chile is also adopting large-scale PV systems to support the nation's mining industry, which makes up a significant percentage of its GDP. Copper mining alone represents 20 percent of the economic activity in the country.
SunEdison connected two of last quarter's four projects, including San Andres, totaling 148 megawatts. An additional 380 megawatts are now under construction by a handful of other developers including Solarpack, Selray, Enel Green Power, Mainstream Renewable Power, and SunPower.
Source: GTM Research's Latin America PV Playbook, Q2 2014
This quarter should see two project completions, totaling 23.5 megawatts. GTM Research is forecasting that Chile will install 244 megawatts in 2014.
"With energy reform legislation chilling the large-scale project pipeline in Mexico, Chile may emerge as the regional leader by the end of 2014 in both annual and cumulative PV installations,” said James.
Covering 450 projects totaling 13 gigawatts of capacity, the Latin America PV Playbook is the industry's most comprehensive data and analysis on the Latin American PV market. Learn more at http://www.greentechmedia.com/research/report/latin-america-pv-playbook.
This year’s Solar Summit has an entire morning dedicated to the burgeoning Latin American market. See the conference agenda and register here.