As the appetite for utility-scale solar increases across the USA, solar plants are being developed on more unusual terrains. Recent work in Arizona’s Antelope Valley has led to serious concerns over large dust clouds affecting local residents’ health and quality of life.
Peru´s Minister of Energy and Mines announced the start of US$15 billion mining projects in Peru between this year and 2015. Given the high solar radiation of the country, this represents new opportunities for CSP to supply energy for the mining sector.
Last week, Swiss PV developer Etrion announced that a PPA had been signed with Aguas Blancas a mine in northern Chile for 8.8MW of power. With Etrion looking to international financial institutions for funding, financing from commercial banks is yet to appear for PV in Chile.
At a recent PV Insider webinar on reducing costs in the balance of systems in the USA it was revealed that the world’s second largest utility-scale PV market continues to suffer from higher prices for key components compared to Germany, in spite of much larger growth in utility-scale PV.
Spain is reforming its energy market changing the rules of the game for renewable energy. Whilst consequences for CSP are not clear yet, any country looking to invest in this technology can learn from the Spanish case.