Large scale battery storage on the rise in Chile

Three utility scale battery energy storage projects collocated with solar plants were announced last week in Chile. Enel is building a 67 MW/134 MWh battery, while CJR Renewable and Uriel Renovables are planning 200 MW/800 MWh and 90 MW/200 MWh projects, respectively.
Solar panels
Image: Uriel Renovables

Last week, three different developers announced separate large-scale battery energy storage (BESS) projects collocated with solar farms in Chile.

Enel Chile, the local subsidiary of Italian energy company Enel, said it will deploy a 67 MW/134 MWh battery at the El Manzano solar power plant. The solar project with a capacity of 99 MW is located in the town of Tiltil, in the Chacabuco Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region. The solar plant is deployed on 185 hectares of land and features 162,000 bifacial monocrystalline panels of 615 W and 610 W.

In a separate press release, Portuguese EPC contractor CJR Renewable announced that it had been contracted by Atlas Renewable to construct a 200 MW/800 MWh BESS. The system will be paired with the 244 MWp Sol del Desierto photovoltaic plant, which is in operation since 2022 and located in the town of María Elena, the Tocopilla Province, in the Antofagasta region.

CJR Renewables will act as the main contractor for the civil and electrical works on the project which will feature 320 battery units provided by Chinese manufacturer Sungrow. “With this project, we’ve reached 523 MW in BESS facilities in Chile,” said Raúl Pérez, business and development manager at CJR Renewables.

With 582,930 solar panels distributed over 479 hectares, Sol del Desierto generates around 714 GWh per year. The PV plant has been operating under a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) inked between between Atlas Renewable Energy and Engie Energía Chile, the Chilean unit of French energy giant Engie, supplying 550 GWh of electricity annually.

In another separate development, Spanish developer Uriel Renovables announced it had obtained preliminary approval for the 90 MW Quinquimo solar farm collocated with a 90 MW/200 MWh BESS facility. Construction on this project is expected to begin in 2025 in an area located 150 km north of Santiago de Chile, in the Valparaíso Region.

The project is part of a broader PV project portfolio that Uriel Renovables is currently building in Chile.

Largest energy storage system in Latin America

In March, Engie Chile finalized the construction of a 139 MW/638 MWh battery. It claimed it was the largest energy storage system to be installed in Latin America. The storage facility is paired with the 181.2 MW Coya PV plant, in Maira Elena, in northern Chile’s Antofagasta region, which has one of the world’s highest levels of solar radiation. Engie announced the project in December 2022.

Chile is set to become the second-largest battery market in the Americas after US. Last year, the Latin American nation switched on 12 storage projects, with a total power output of 1.3 GW. As of August 2023, it had 85 energy storage projects in various stages of development, totaling 6.4 GW.

Written by

  • Pilar worked as managing editor for an international solar magazine, in addition to editing books, primarily in the fields of literature and art. She joined pv magazine in May 2017, where she manages the Spanish newsletter and website and helps write and edit articles for the daily news section in Latin America.


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