The Chilean government has granted environmental approval for SolarReserve’s 390MW solar thermal power project, which will be developed in the Antofagasta region.

The Likana solar energy project will include three 130MW solar thermal towers that can generate about 2,800MW hours of power per annum.

Each solar thermal power tower will have 13 hours of full load energy storage, said the company.

The facility, which will have 5.1GW of total energy storage capacity, will be developed by using the firm’s advanced solar thermal energy storage technology.

SolarReserve said that it will bid energy and associated capacity, from Likana and its other Chilean projects, into the upcoming auction issued annually by Chile’s power distribution companies.

SolarReserve development senior vice president Tom Georgis said: “The Chilean transmission system will have difficulty accommodating large amounts of intermittent power. The Distribution Companies and Mining Sector require a firm, secure, and stable supply of electricity 24 hours a day.

“The Likana project will help lower electricity costs for Chilean families and businesses, while safeguarding grid stability.”

SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith said: “Even more remarkable than baseload solar, SolarReserve set a new benchmark for solar thermal pricing by bidding 6.4 cents per kilowatt-hour, without subsidies, in Chile’s last auction for energy supply.”

In March, SolarReserve also secured environmental approval from the Chilean government for its 450MW Tamarugal concentrated solar power project.

The Tamarugal solar project will include three 150MW solar thermal towers that can generate about 2,600GW hours of power per annum.

Image: Rendering of SolarReserve’s 390 MW Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Likana Solar Project with 5.1 GW-hours of energy storage. Photo: courtesy of SolarReserve, LLC.