Sojitz-led group buys 98MW Chile solar plant

The consortium, also comprising Shikoku and Eiffage, acquired a project that will be built in the Atacama Desert.

A consortium led by Tokyo-based Sojitz Corporation has acquired a 98MW solar power plant in Chile from developer AustrianSolar.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. AustrianSolar declined to comment on the price of the transaction, while Sojitz had not responded to inquiries at press time.

Sojitz and its American affiliate now own a combined 60 percent of the Huatacondo solar power plant, which will be built in the Atacama Desert in Chile’s Tarapacá region. Shikoku Electric Power, the Japanese firm that will manage the project’s construction, holds a 30 percent share while French construction firm Eiffage owns the remaining 10 percent.

Construction on the project will begin in the coming days, while commercial operations at the plant are expected to commence in August 2018. Electricity produced at the site will be sold to the wholesale electricity market, with a long-term contract considered within five years of the plant’s completion.

Chile has emerged as one of Latin America’s leaders in renewable energy, with a renewables target of 70 percent by 2050. The Atacama Desert, meanwhile, has the highest level of solar radiation on the planet, according to the Inter-American Development Bank.

Sojitz has also invested in solar projects in Mixdorf, Germany and Arequipa, Peru. AustrianSolar, headquartered in Vienna with a team based in Santiago, has developed six solar plants in Chile totalling 620MW in capacity.