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ABB Delivers Solar Solutions In The Atacama Desert

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ABB has partnered with Spanish independent power producer ACCIONA to supply an all-in-one inverter solution for the 246 MWp El Romero Solar Plant in the Chilean desert. The solar plant is situated in the harsh environment of the Atacama Desert in Chile, 645 km north of the country’s capital Santiago.

One of the driest places in the world, the Atacama spans 1,000km and experiences extreme temperatures from 40 °C in the day to -5 °C and below at night.

Leading Spanish independent power producer ACCIONA, selected ABB to deliver an all-in-one inverter solution that provides clean energy to power the data center for a global, leading tech giant. Following more than 25 years of investment and research, ABB’s solutions are designed to provide energy efficient solar power and withstand extreme weather conditions.

The El Romero project included the installation of 60 ABB PVS800-IS inverter stations, each rated at 3.6MW.

Providing high conversion efficiency with low auxiliary power consumption, the PVS800-IS inverter station is a plug-and-play solution, designed for multi-megawatt PV power plants. To allow easy and rapid connected to a medium voltage (MV) transformer station, each inverter station, which houses two to three PVS800 central inverters, also features embedded auxiliary power, monitoring and air filtration systems.



The all-in-one solution also included 60 environmentally safe, dry type transformers of 3.6 MVA, which are designed to provide the best performance throughout the lifetime of the plant, ABB SafePlus CCV SF6 insulated compact switchgear and ABB Power Plant Controller for controlling and monitoring the solar plant.

The hardware delivery is supported with a comprehensive service offering that includes training, commissioning and local support for the future of the plant. The ability to deliver continuous power supply for a data center, from a plant located in the desert, was critical to the installation.

ABB’S UPS system, provides protection against all power failures, voltage regulation, power factor correction and harmonics. Covering 280 hectares, the El Romero solar plant, is now the largest photovoltaic plant of its kind in Latin America.

With a peak capacity of 246 MWp, the plant generates 493 GWh of clean energy per year, the electrical demand equivalent of 240,000 homes. Saving 473,000 metric tonnes of CO2 per year from coal-fired power stations, it is a flagship example for encouraging green energy on a global scale.

Commenting on the installation, ABB’s Product Marketing Director for Solar in Spain, Alfredo Diez-Hochleitner, said: “The El Romero Solar Plant was a huge feat of engineering in hostile conditions, that saw ABB work closely with ACCIONA to install solar solutions that provide 100% of the data center’s clean energy. We are proud of our ongoing investment in energy efficient solar technology that can operate in the most challenging environments, together with our ability to work closely with our partners to develop bespoke solutions, which has created an outstanding solar plant for the future."

Jose Ignacio Escobar, General Manager for ACCIONA Energia Chile added:

“Renewable projects as ambitious as the El Romero Solar Plant contribute decisively, so that clean energy can occupy the place it de- serves in a sustainable energy model for Chile and the rest of the world."


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