First Solar, a US-based solar energy company, has sought federal approval to commence the development of its $370m photovoltaic (PV) power plant in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile.
The 162MW Luz del Norte project is expected to feature 1.7 million panels and is estimated to have an annual production rate of 480,000GWh of electricity.
Construction of the project is scheduled in June 2014, according to the Chile’s environmental licensing agency Servicio de Evaluacion Ambiental.
The developments are said to have been driven by Solar Chile’s acquisition that had 1.5GW of early-stage pipeline of PV power projects in northern Chile, including the Atacama Desert area. During the first quarter of 2013, First Solar had exported 370MW of solar panels.