Duration: 2012 - present
Partner: First Solar
Carbon Standard: United Nations Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) (PoA 9251)
Project Partner: First Solar Energía Ltda.
First Solar, Inc. is the leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar power systems. First Solar Energia Limitada implemented the Luz del Norte project with financing provided to First Solar, Inc. by OPIC and IFC.
In 2004, Argentina began to steadily cut natural gas exports to its neighbor Chile, triggering a major energy crisis. Ten years later, a regasification plant (converting liquefied natural gas back to natural gas) located 1,400 km north of Santiago, was not enough to solve the energy problems in the north of the country, where water is scarce and where the mining industry is concentrated. In 2014 the country was facing a serious long-term energy shortage, largely caused by the expected growth in the country’s energy-intensive copper mining industry and the effect of a drought on hydroelectric production. Electricity prices had risen 20% compared with 2010 and the government was predicting a further 34% rise over the coming 10 years.
Solution: As a result, solar projects became a priority. In January 2016, Chile became the first Latin American country to reach 1GW of production.