Pampa Elvira Solar in Chile is one of the largest solar thermal plants in the world. It is providing hot water for Codelco’s copper mine Gabriela Misytral mining facility in the north of the country. The operation has displaced 60 % of the fossil fuel previously used to heat water for the electro-winning process, equivalent to 6,500 tons of diesel annually. This leads to a greener production of copper and a reduction of 15,000 tons of CO2 annually.
In 2013, Pampa Elvira Solar was commissioned, and now a new 10-year energy sales agreement has been signed with the state-owned mining company Codelco.
“Pampa Elvira Solar has during the last ten years proved its relevance as a provider of renewable energy to a mining site that used to consume a high amount of fossil fuels. We are very pleased with the signing of the renewed contract allowing the plant to continue its greening of the mining industry in Chile.”
Oliver Stanek Villsen, Senior Investment Manager at IFU.
Financed by the Danish Climate Investment Fund
The solar plant covers 44,000 m2 (approx. 90 soccer fields) with 2,928 panels of 15 m2 each and a heat storage tank of 4,600 m3 – energy storage that enables 24-hour delivery of renewable energy. The installed capacity of the plant is 34 MWt, and its operation allows for the annual delivery of about 55,000 thermal MWh.
The consortium that built Pampa Elvira Solar in 2013 was formed by Energía Llaima (today Innergex) and the Danish Sunmark Corporation (today Arcon-Sunmark) that had developed the technology. IFU provided part of the financing on behalf of the Danish Climate Investment Fund, which is backed by the Danish state and large Danish pension funds.