Author | Veselina Petrova — French group Total (EPA:FP) on Friday celebrated the completion of the 70-MW Salvador solar park in Chile’s Atacama desert, it said in a press release.

The photovoltaic (PV) project, estimated at about USD 200 million (EUR 178.05m), is 70%-owned by Switzerland-based solar power producer Etrion Corp (STO:ETX).

Total and its affiliate SunPower Corp (NASDAQ:SPWR) hold a 20% interest, while Spanish Solventus Energias Renovables has a 10% stake. About 70% of the project’s cost was financed with a long-term non-recourse loan from the US Overseas Private Investment Corp (OPIC).

The Salvador park was put on stream in November 2014. It uses more than 160,000 SunPower PV panels that are expected to generate about 200 GWh of electricity each year. Their output will be enough to meet the demand of nearly 70,000 local homes, the developers calculate.

SunPower will take care of the plant’s operations and maintenance. The facility will initially operate on a merchant basis, with its output to be sold on the spot market and supplied to Sistema Interconectado Central’s power grid.

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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