Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

U.S. Guarantees $230 Million Loan For Construction of Latin America's Largest Solar Plant

Business
U.S. Guarantees $230 Million Loan For Construction of Latin America's Largest Solar Plant

A large solar power plant is coming to Chile's Atacama Desert, and the U.S. is providing financial support to make it happen.

Tempe, AZ-based First Solar will construct the 141-megawatt Luz del Norte plant with the aid of a loan guarantee of up to $230 million from the Overseas Private Investment Corp., the U.S. government's financial development institution, the company announced. The loan guarantee partly arises from President Barack Obama's desire to work with Chile on expanding the clean energy futures for both nations.

"We're both very interested in energy and how we can transition to a clean energy economy," Obama told The Associated Press. "And we'll be announcing some collaborations, including the facilitation of a construction of a major solar plant inside of Chile that can help meet their energy needs."

Chile hopes to increase its renewable energy capacity to 20 percent of power generation by 2025.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Obama spent time with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet earlier this week to begin talks of making a stronger connection between the two countries. The U.S. is already the largest lender to Chile, having approved nearly $900 million of loan guarantees for six renewable energy generation projects in Chile in just over a year. The International Finance Corp. also approved a $60 million loan for Luz del Norte.

"The Latin American region has a growing need for innovative and efficient energy solutions right now," said Tim Rebhorn, senior vice president of the Americas for First Solar. "This investment support from OPIC and IFC is instrumental in bringing the project in Chile to life."

The Atacama Desert receives some of the planet's steadiest concentrations of direct sunlight, according to First Solar. The country wants to increase renewable energy to 20 percent of its total power generation by 2025. 

"The Luz del Norte project is an important step in furthering solar power development in Chile, where the potential for this clean, renewable resource is unrivaled," OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield said. "OPIC is proud to support this investment in Chile while helping an innovative American company like First Solar expand its operations and create new markets for its products abroad."

 

Coast Guard members work to clean an oil spill impacting Delaware beaches. U.S. Coast Guard District 5

Environmental officials and members of the U.S. Coast Guard are racing to clean up a mysterious oil spill that has spread to 11 miles of Delaware coastline.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

What happened to all that plastic you've put in the recycling bin over the years? Halfpoint / Getty Images

By Dr. Kate Raynes-Goldie

Of all the plastic we've ever produced, only 9% has been recycled. So what happened to all that plastic you've put in the recycling bin over the years?

Read More Show Less

Trending

Plain Naturals offers a wide variety of CBD products including oils, creams and gummies.

Plain Naturals is making waves in the CBD space with a new product line for retail customers looking for high potency CBD products at industry-low prices.

Read More Show Less
Donald Trump and Joe Biden arrive onstage for the final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, on Oct. 22, 2020. JIM WATSON / AFP via Getty Images

Towards the end of the final presidential debate of the 2020 election season, the moderator asked both candidates how they would address both the climate crisis and job growth, leading to a nearly 12-minute discussion where Donald Trump did not acknowledge that the climate is changing and Joe Biden called the climate crisis an existential threat.

Read More Show Less
What will happen to all these batteries once they wear out? Ronny Hartmann / AFP / Getty Images

By Zheng Chen and Darren H. S. Tan

As concern mounts over the impacts of climate change, many experts are calling for greater use of electricity as a substitute for fossil fuels. Powered by advancements in battery technology, the number of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles on U.S. roads is increasing. And utilities are generating a growing share of their power from renewable fuels, supported by large-scale battery storage systems.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch