California-based solar power projects developer SolarReserve announced that it has received environmental approval from the Chilean government to construct a 450MW concentrated solar power project.

The Tamarugal solar project, located in the Tarapacá region in the country, will include three concentrated solar thermal towers, each with a storage capacity of 150MW. Each of the towers is claimed to have 13 hours of full load energy storage.

With a total total energy storage capacity of 5.8GWh, the facility is expected to constantly deliver 450MW of output. This translates to more than 2600GWh being generated annually.

Without requiring any fossil fuel, the CSP tower technology included in the project will be able to offer non-intermittent electricity from solar energy 24-hours a day,

The plant is claimed to operate at a capacity factor and availability percentage similar to that of a coal-fired power plant.

The company will bid the energy generated from the Tamarugal and other projects in Chile, in the upcoming international public auction to supply energy to power distribution companies in the country.

SolarReserve stated that it will collaborate with stakeholders and local communities to reduce environmental impact of the Tamarugal solar project. As part of the effort, the firm plans to carry out extensive environmental studies before starting construction of the project.

SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith said: “What’s happening in Chile is a preview of the future of solar around the world. Even more remarkable than 24-hour a day solar, SolarReserve set a new benchmark for baseload solar pricing by bidding $63 per megawatt hour, without subsidies, in Chile’s most recent auction for energy supply.

“We’ve proven that solar can compete head-to-head with conventional energy on both functionality and cost.”

Image: SolarReserve’s 110 MW Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Plant. Photo: Courtesy of SolarReserve, LLC.