Pacific Hydro inaugurates $443m renewable energy project in Chile

Australian renewable energy company Pacific Hydro inaugurated its 111 MW Chacayes run-of-river hydro power plant in Chile’s Alto Cachapoal Valley, approximately 120 km south of Santiago in October.

An official ceremony to mark the event was attended by Chile’s Minister for Energy Rodrigo Álvarez, and follows Pacific Hydro’s completion of the $US800 million ($788.5 million) La Higuera and La Confluencia hydro projects in Chile 12 months ago.

An investment of more than $443 million, the Chacayes run-of-river hydro power plant will contribute 111 MW of installed capacity to Chile’s national grid, enough clean energy to supply more than 300,000 local homes. Its operations will abate over 340,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas pollution every year – the equivalent to taking more than 130,000 vehicles off the road.

Pacific Hydro chief executive officer Rob Grant said that the company has long-term plans to invest almost $US2 billion ($1.97 million) in Chile as the country has proven to be serious about its renewable energy policies.

“Chacayes is the first of a number of run-of-river hydro power projects that Pacific Hydro plans to develop in Chile’s Alto Cachapoal Valley as part of our $US2 billion investment pipeline in the country,” Mr Grant said.

“These projects will add more than 600 MW of renewable energy capacity to Chile’s national grid by 2020 when fully operational, avoiding more than 1.13 million tonnes of greenhouse gas pollution from entering the atmosphere every year.”