Sky Solar Holdings Co., a Chinese solar-energy developer, will solicit bids to build a $60 million demonstration plant in Chile’s northern Arica province to grab the attention of the local mining industry.
Companies will bid for the rights to install and supply panels with 20 megawatts of generation capacity that will track the sun’s movement along a single axis, Hong Chen, Shanghai- based Sky Solar’s managing director for Latin America and emerging markets, said yesterday in a telephone interview.
Mining companies that pay some of the region’s highest prices for power are being inundated with requests from solar developers claiming they can cut their energy costs, Chen said.
“This project is meant to build our prestige and reputation,” Chen said.
Sky Solar plans to sell part of the facility’s power to a mining company after it comes online in the first half of next year, he said. The remaining capacity will be sold on the spot market, where electricity sells at an average $120 a megawatt hour.
Sky Solar, the Chinese Development Bank Corp. and Sigdo Koppers SA (SK), a local engineering company, plan to develop 300 megawatts of projects in Chile that may cost $900 million, Sky Solar said June 28 on its website.
Chile’s high power prices and sunny climate mean it “will be the first Latin American country to reach grid parity” where solar projects generate profit without subsidies, Chen said.
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