Acciona Energía has initiated the start-up phase of the El Romero Solar photovoltaic solar plant, thirteen months after starting construction work.

Located in Atacama, Chile, the El Romero Solar plant is the biggest in Latin America and has a maximum capacity of 246MWp (196MW rated power). The company has invested approximately $343m for this project.

Acciona has also completed assembly of 776,000 photovoltaic modules with a solar capture surface area of more than 1.5 million square meters that is equivalent to 211 soccer pitches.

Acciona Energía Chile general manager José Ignacio Escobar said: “We completed the project in record time.

“Acciona’s technical and financial capability to take on all the challenges posed by the installation of a project of this size.

“We are committed to the objective of achieving a clean and sustainable energy mix in Chile, and the best way to demonstrate this is to complete the projects we undertake to the technical quality standards required and in the shortest possible timescale.

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"We are committed to the objective of achieving a clean and sustainable energy mix in Chile."

“Acciona Energía will maintain this approach in any other project it may carry out in the country.”

The plant has been already connected to the Central Interconnected System (SIC) of the country, starting a process that will continue over the next weeks until the whole installation enters commercial service.

Upon completion, the plant will have the capacity to produce nearly 500GWh of clean energy annually, which is sufficient for powering 240,000 Chilean homes, and avoid the emission of around 475,000 metric tons of CO2 from coal-fired power stations in the process.

Image: Solar panels being fitted. Photo: courtesy of Acciona.