Atlantic Wind & Solar, with affiliate and co-developer Atlantic Energy Ecuador, has received notice from the National Electricity Council of Ecuador (CONELEC), confirming that two initial photovoltaic (PV) projects in the Province of Esmeraldas are to proceed under Ecuador's feed-in tariff program.
The $150 million (USD) plants, representing two phases, will be built in the province of Esmeraldas and will be larger than any currently operational PV plant in South America.
The projects combined represent 58.43MW of DC solar PV generation. Each site represents 25MW AC of nominal generation and will be located in the towns of Lagarto and Tonchigue respectively.
The plants will generate in excess of 86,000MWh per year of clean electricity, enough energy to power 85,000 households, while offsetting annual CO2 emissions by nearly 50,000 metric tons - the equivalent of taking 10,000 cars off the road each year.
This advancement follows the successful completion of technical studies including, grid impact assessments, risk and environmental analysis and economic feasibility studies, each approved by CONELEC.
Approval came in conjunction with Atlantic providing approximately $2 million in warranties required to secure the Power Purchase Agreements (PPA).
The construction phase of the project will employ an estimated 500 workers. Under a corporate social responsibility plan Atlantic will improve the area's utility infrastructure, contributing 50% of associated costs in partnership with the local distribution company, plus build two playgrounds for the local children.