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Colbún plans to deploy a 240MW/1.2GWh battery energy storage project

Chilean utility company Colbún has submitted plans to deploy a solar + storage project in which a 1.2GWh battery energy storage system (BESS) will be deployed.

The company submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report on August 8 to the Environmental Assessment Agency in Arica and Parinacota Region for the project, which is planned for deployment in the Camarones community.

2022/09/23

The project's solar farm, named CeldaSolar, will install 700,000 bifacial PV modules with a total installed capacity of 421.9MW. The supporting deployment is a battery energy storage system with an installed capacity of 240MW/1.2GWh, which means that this battery energy storage system will become the largest energy storage project in Chile.

The 960 hectares of land on which this solar + storage project is deployed is part of a public land bank owned by the Chilean government, which has been earmarked for the construction of energy projects. Electricity for the project will be supplied to the grid through the Roncacho substation.

Despite being one of the leading solar power markets in South America and second only to Brazil in size, Chile currently has only 64MW of utility-scale battery storage, according to the Chilean Renewable Energy and Energy Storage Trade Association (ACERA).

Storage deployments will grow significantly in the coming years as battery storage systems are deployed alongside solar parks, which can reduce curtailment by storing excess power and discharging it during periods of peak demand. As a result, most large-scale battery storage projects planned for deployment last between four and five hours.

For example, independent power producer (IPP) Innergex Renewable Energy recently entered into a power purchase agreement with Mitsubishi Electric Corporation US for an 85MW/425MWh battery storage project. In late 2020, AES and its energy storage subsidiary Fluence, which IPOed last year, began building a 112MW/560MWh battery storage system. Colbún recently ordered an 8MW/32MWh battery storage system from storage system integrator Wärtsilä to build a standalone battery storage project.

Colbún has 248MW of solar power facilities already in operation and 1,023MW of solar power facilities approved for planned deployment, as well as an 812MW wind farm under construction and a planned 360MW wind farm. The company plans to achieve its goal of installing 4GW of renewable energy generation facilities by 2030.

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