Spanish contractor Acciona has claimed its Chilean solar energy plant will save the country $21M (£15M) each year in greenhouse gas costs while boosting the economy by £220M.
Consultant EY compared the 246 megawatt peak (MWp) El Romero solar PV plant with a standard coal-fired plant, which was found to boost Chile’s GDP by just £105M over its 40-year life cycle.
By contrast the solar PV plant was shown to contribute almost double over a 35-year life cycle. Acciona claims the plant, the highest capacity solar energy plant in Latin America, will save Chile £15M each year in costs related to greenhouse gasses and is estimated to save 2,854t of polluting gasses each year.
Acciona achieved its net zero carbon footprint by buying carbon credits, which allow energy firms to emitt a certain amount of carbon, to offset its CO2 footprint.
The firm is investing £1.8bn in renewable energy installations. Over the course of its first five-year masterplan from 2010-2015, the group’s CO2 emissions were reduced by 45%.
Acciona is also part of a joint venture building the biggest solar energy plant in the world in Dubai.