NEXTracker, designer and manufacturer of advanced single axis PV trackers, completed a 110 MW DC shipment of its Self-Powered Tracker (SPT) to SunEdison’s Quilapilún power plant in the Santiago metropolitan region of Chile. Once completed, the project will be SunEdison’s largest in South America and the first such project in a densely populated urban region of the Southern Cone. The energy produced by the plant will supply the Sistema Interconectado Central (SIC) transmission system through a long-term power purchase agreement.
“NEXTracker and SunEdison have forged a highly effective collaboration that reinforces our position as a renewable energy development and technology leader in Latin America,” said Carlos Barrera, SunEdison vice president for Latin America. “NEXTracker’s energy yield and installation savings help us deliver clean energy at lower prices. Additionally, NEXTracker’s design expertise and installation support services help ensure faster completion of projects like the Quilapilún power plant.”
NEXTracker’s fewer foundations and assembly points help mitigate geotechnical risk and accelerate project construction schedules. With independent rows and high slope tolerance, NEXTracker minimizes site preparation costs while providing the flexibility to install up to 30% more PV per site. NEXTracker’s enhanced construction tolerances, self-grounding and self-powered design provide valuable savings in labor and materials. The tracker’s wide rotational range provides a significant energy yield gain and enables PV systems to take full advantage of high irradiance environments such as in Chile.
The Quilapilún solar plant is expected to generate 242 GWh of electricity a year, enough to power 117,000 homes. It’s anticipated that it will eliminate the emission of more than 125,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year, the equivalent of removing 28,000 cars from Chilean roads.
Be sure to watch aerial footage of two Chilean solar plants featuring the Self-Powered Tracker above.
— Solar Builder magazine