GE (NYSE: GE) is using its latest inverter technology to develop Chile’s biggest industrial-scale solar photovoltaic power facility. The plant, situated at La Huayca in the Atacama Desert, began operations in late August of this year, and it is delivering an initial peak output of 1.4 megawatts to local mining and heavy industries facilities. With GE’s help, the capacity will be scaled up to 25 megawatts in the next few years.
German solar facility specialist Saferay GmbH and Chilean construction company SELTEC Ingenieria share joint ownership and operations responsibilities. In a contract with Saferay, GE Energy Management will provide two of its latest outdoor photovoltaic inverters customized to Saferay’s specifications. GE is also providing other related electrical equipment to the operation.
From GE’s press release:
“The Chilean government’s policy is that industry must source at least 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, otherwise financial penalties will apply,” said Juan Fernández, head of project management, Saferay. “That means this plant has to perform reliably and efficiently on a long-term, consistent basis, and in order to make that happen we turned to GE, whose technology, experience, resources and global presence will help make the plant a success. In turn, we expect that success to stimulate the solar PV industry throughout the entire region.”
Such large-scale renewable power development has steadily ramped up in the Latin American region. The advanced power management technology GE is using in this project and others helps ensure that power is produced, transformed, stored, and transported with high reliability, which in turn allows developing large-scale power initiatives to really take off.
GE acquired Power Conversion, previously known as Converteam, back in September 2011. Today, the unit specializes in developing power conversion technology to support the electric transformation of the world’s energy infrastructure.