The Association of Concentrated Solar Power (ACSP) highlighted the early start of operations of Cerro Dominador, the first Tower project in Latin America
In addition, it highlighted the incorporation of new CSP configurations to the Long-Term Energy Planning of the Ministry of Energy
“We are at a key moment for the development of solar power concentration in Chile,” said Cristián Sepúlveda, executive manager of the ACSP. This is thanks to the start of Cerro Dominador’s operations and the announcement of the incorporation of new configurations of this technology to the Long-Term Energy Planning (PELP, acronym in spanish) of the Ministry of Energy.
The ACSP proposed that the new PELP consider CSP configurations with 6, 9 and 13 hours of storage. What for the association is more representative of the versatility of this technology. In the previous PELP, the CSP was included with configurations of 11 and 14 hours of storage.
In the ACSP they indicated that this is in addition to the participation that the association had in the work table organized by the Ministry of Energy and by the National Energy Commission, which analyzed the new power regulations. “These actions demonstrate the importance of Concentrated solar power for the national electricity system, especially in the face of the decarbonization process that the country is experiencing. As part of the Power Regulation Table, in addition to addressing the changes to the already existing concept of sufficiency power, the concept of flexible power was created, recognized with 100% for CSP technology, due to its attributes and benefits, aspects which were presented by the ACSP at the table during the table sessions. This guarantees the sustainability of our electricity matrix, ”said Cristián Sepúlveda.
Another of the points highlighted in the ACSP is that the projections of different organizations suggest that there may be a process of acceleration of the decarbonization of Chile and in this context one of the alternatives for the electricity system is the adoption of concentrated solar power. This was established by the National Electricity Coordinator in a study that analyzed a scenario of withdrawal of coal-fired power plants by 2033 with low generation costs, where Concentrated Solar Power would enter the Chilean Electricity System as of 2025. For the ACSP , decarbonisation could accelerate further, especially in view of the announcements of anticipated closures of coal-fired plants and the proposed legal modifications that would seek to shorten the terms of completion of operations of these plants.
“We are in a just time to start the development of new concentrated solar power projects in Chile, if we think that it takes about five years for the complete development of a project. Given the deadlines shown by some projections, with an acceleration of the decarbonization process, CSP becomes a fundamental technology so that the withdrawal of coal-fired plants does not affect the stability of the national electricity system, through the incorporation of sustainable technologies and of synchronous generation ”, indicated Cristián González, director of technological development of the ACSP.
In addition, they indicated that with this background, CSP technology expects a significant takeoff in the short term, which is why it is necessary to continue with the impulse of regulatory changes. They also highlighted the enormous possibilities that solar thermal concentration (STC) has in the country’s mining-industrial development, especially to replace the use of fossil fuels in heat generation processes, putting solar thermal technology (or solar concentration) as a key axis for the energy and sustainable future of Chile.
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