Project Overview

The Luz del Norte project is the largest photovoltaic (PV) solar power plant in Latin America occupying 478 hectares of land located 58 km northeast of Copiapó, Chile. The project diversifies Chile’s energy portfolio and created up to 370 jobs during peak construction and 10 ongoing operations and maintenance positions.

The 141 megawatt (MW) alternating current (AC) project is powered by more than 1.7 million First Solar advanced thin film PV modules, producing enough solar energy to power 174,000 homes and displace the equivalent of more than 185,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year.>

In addition to supplying the solar modules for this project, First Solar provided Engineering, Procurement and Construction, Operations and Maintenance and recycling services.

Environment

First Solar’s projects typically have a low environmental impact. When in operation, our systems generate electricity with no water use, no air emissions, and no waste production, and have the smallest carbon footprint of any PV technology.

 

Community Commitment

First Solar is committed to being a good neighbor in Copiapó through our community involvement and the environmentally sensitive design of our solar projects. We continue to engage community groups, environmental groups and business organizations to ensure that Luz del Norte remains a valued and respected member of the Atacama region.

Local vendors were trained and certified to match international standards and locally-produced construction materials were used.

In addition, First Solar established a training program in partnership with Solar Energy International at Liceo Politécnico José Antonio Carvajal to prepare students to join the growing solar industry as skilled installers of PV technology. First Solar donated a PV system to the school to provide hands-on training opportunities to its students.

 

Project Benefits

  • Establishes Chile as a leader in solar development
  • Created up to 370 construction jobs and 10 ongoing operations and maintenance positions
  • Provided business opportunities in the Copiapó region including construction, environmental, transportation, food and hospitality services
  • Uses no water to clean PV panels, protecting natural resources
  • Built on First Solar's advanced thin film solar modules and First Solar Tracker mounting systems, the industry benchmark for utility-scale PV
  • Diversifies Chile’s energy mix in support of the country’s renewable energy policies

Type:

GROUND-MOUNTED PV

Owner:

First Solar, Inc.

Jobs Created:

Up to 370

Developer:

First Solar, Inc.

  • 2013
  • 2013-2014
  • 2014-2016
  • 2016
Timeline