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Chile: Mining company Codelco signs ’24/7 solar-plus-battery’ power purchase agreement

By Will Norman

Atlas Renewable Energy has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Chilean state-owned mining company Codelco to deliver 375GWh a year from a solar-plus-storage project in Chile.

The PPA is a 24/7 supply agreement, using battery energy storage to deliver power around the clock over a 15-year period.

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Atlas was awarded the contract after winning a public tender issued by Codelco. Neither company disclosed the nameplate generation or energy storage capacity of the project, or its name or location. PV Tech has contacted them for clarification.

“With this project, we formally announce our entry into battery storage technology. We see this as an essential element to materially amplify the volume of renewable energy sources in the power system,” said Carlos Barrera, CEO of Atlas Renewable Energy.

Chile is being seen as a fertile market for energy storage, partly off the back of its rapidly growing market for renewables, particularly solar PV. Other recent developments include the Oasis de Atacama project, which will pair 1GW of solar PV and what could be the largest battery energy storage system (BESS) in the world at 4.1GWh capacity.

Developer Grenergy is behind the project, with PCS technology to be supplied by inverter maker Ingeteam, while Oasis de Atacama is among many energy storage projects underway in the country.

Many of Atlas’ solar operations are concentrated in Latin America, and the company has signed a plethora of PPAs in the region. In March 2022, it began commercial operations at a 244MWp solar PV plant in Antofagasta, Chile under a 15-year PPA with Engie Energía Chile.

Brazil, in particular, has been a target market for Atlas. In November 2023 it secured US$448 million from the Brazilian Development Bank towards a 902MWp project in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais – the ‘largest’ single-phase solar PV project in the country. In the preceding April, it signed a corporate PPA with Brazil’s largest aluminium producer for the entire 902MWp capacity.

In September of the same year, it inaugurated 600MW of solar PV capacity in Minas Gerais, spread across two projects, each with corporate PPAs in place.  

In October 2022, Atlas was acquired by fund manager Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and private equity firm Actis for an undisclosed amount.

This story first appeared on PV Tech.

Additional reporting for by Andy Colthorpe.

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