SunEdison nails $100m for Chile PV

SunEdison has secured $100.4m in financing for its second large PV array in Chile, with Latin America rapidly becoming a central pillar of the US solar group’s development business.

The majority of the non-recourse debt-financing comes from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) – the US government’s development-finance institution – which has proved instrumental in most of SunEdison’s large overseas projects of late.

The 50.7MW (AC) San Andres array will be the largest merchant solar-power plant in Latin America upon its completion next year, and one of the largest in the world, selling its electricity directly onto Chile’s spot market.

The project “will demonstrate that PV is already a competitive energy source in countries like Chile”, says Pancho Perez, SunEdison’s president for EMEA and Latin America.

Over the last two months SunEdison has nailed down two other OPIC-led financial packages to build the 100MW Amanecer array for Chilean mining group CAP, and the 60MW Boshof array allocated under South Africa’s renewables programme.

The company is also building a 1.1MW PV system for Petrobras in Brazil.

SunEdison did not reveal the module supplier for its San Andres project.

It is using its own in-house Silvantis modules at the Amanecer array and in Brazil, while it will use modules assembled in South Africa for Boshof, the first major South Africa solar project to do so.

The Chilean PV market continues to gain steam, with major players like SunPower and First Solar advancing their own huge projects in the country.