First Solar Inc. has received approval from the U.S. government's Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC) and the World Bank's International Finance Corp. (IFC) for financing to support construction of the 141 MW Luz del Norte solar power plant in Chile's Atacama Desert.
The OPIC board approved a loan of up to $230 million; the IFC board approved a $60 million loan. The loans, which are expected to close later this summer, clear the way for First Solar to proceed with construction planning at the site, which is near the city of Copiapo. Electricity from Luz del Norte will be supplied into the Chilean Central Interconnected System.
‘This investment support from OPIC and IFC is instrumental in bringing the project in Chile to life,’ says Tim Rebhorn, senior vice president for the Americas for First Solar.
First Solar says the Luz del Norte project is the first of several projects in its regional development pipeline and will be the company's initial project to start construction in Chile.