Cerro Dominador Solar Thermal Plant

Cerro Dominador Solar Power Plant (Spanish: Planta Solar Cerro Dominador ) is a 110- megawatt (MW) Concentrated solar power plant Located in the town of Maria Elena [2] in the Antofagasta Region of Chile , about 24 kilometers (15 mi) west -Northwest of Sierra Gorda . The project was approved by the Chilean government in 2013 and is currently under construction by Abengoa Solar Chile, a branch of the multinational Abengoa Spain.


Construction started on May 2014. [1] On August 29, 2015, workers mobilization started a strike above poor working conditions. [3] Following Abengoa financial woes, construction halted on January 2016, after about 1,500 workers were fired from the project, leaving only personal maintenance on site. [4] [5] Construction progress was more than 50% complete. [6]

Cerro Dominador CSP project

The Cerro Dominador project [7] will see the construction and operation of a 110 MW concentrated solar power plant in the northern Chilean region of Antofagasta , located in the Atacama desert , one of the driest places with the highest solar radiation on earth. When finished, Cerro Dominator will be the largest power plant in Latin America . [8]

An example of a CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) plant, also called “concentrating solar power” or “concentrated solar thermal”



The Cerro Dominador project will have a 110 MW solar-thermal tower. This technology uses a series of mirrors (heliostats) that track the sun on two axes, concentrating the solar radiation on a receiver on the upper part of the tower, where the heat is transferred to molten salts. [9] The molten heat exchanger to water, which generates steam that transforms the kinetic energy of the steam into electric energy using the Rankine cycle . [10] In this way, the Cerro Dominador plant will be able to generate around 110 MW of power. [11]The plant will have an advanced storage system that will enable it to generate electricity without interruptions if required. Additionally, the plant will have a sub-station and transmission line connected to the SING (Sistema Interconectado del Norte Grande) or Norte Grande Electric Grid. The plant has an estimated lifespan of 30 to 50 years.


The cost of the project is estimated at US $ 1 trillion, and construction started in May 2014. The Chilean government, through CORFO , is providing US $ 20 million in funding and is where the plant is located. The government also negotiated loans from the Inter-American Development Bank , the Clean Technology Fund , the German state-owned development bank ( KfW ), and the European Union.


The project is part of Chile ‘s national renewable energy program, designed to provide Chile with cleaner energy, while also reducing its dependency on fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. Chile has set a target to produce 20% of its electricity from clean energy sources by 2025. [12]

Cerro Dominador will prevent the emission of approximately 643,000 tons of CO 2 into the atmosphere every year. The construction, operation and maintenance of the plant will also act as a catalyst for regional socio-economic development, creating a large number of direct and indirect jobs in construction, development, commissioning and plant operation as a network of services that will promote economic growth in the region. [13]

See also

  • Antofagasta
  • Atacama Desert
  • Concentrated solar power
  • List of Solar Thermal Power Stations
  • María Elena
  • María Elena Solar Power Plant
  • Renewable energy
  • Solar thermal energy


  1. ^ Jump up to:b “Comienzan trabajos de primera planta termosolar in Latinoamerica” . Periodista1 . El Mensajero. 14 May 2014. Archived from the original on 22 May 2014 . Retrieved 22 May 2014 .
  2. Jump up^ (in Spanish) Ficha del Proyecto: “PLANTA SOLAR CERRO DOMINADOR” – Location MapServicio de evaluación ambiental retrieved January 25, 2014
  3. Jump up^ 5 días of paralización llevan trabajadores of proyecto Atacama 1. 2 September 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  4. Jump up^ Abengoa Said to Plan Return to Work on Giant Chilean Solar Plant. 30 August 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  5. Jump up^ Abengoa may resume work on Chilean CSP project in Q4. 31 August 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  6. Jump up^ Abengoa retoma construcción of millonario proyecto solar. 9 May 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  7. Jump up^ Ficha del Proyecto: “PLANTA SOLAR CERRO DOMINADOR”Servicio de Evaluación Ambiental
  8. Jump up^ ” ” A solar Saudi Arabia: While Trump promotes coal, Chile and others are turning to cheap sun power ” . Washington Post . 31 March 2017 . Retrieved 2 April 2017 .
  9. Jump up^ Chile to welcome largest solar concentration plant in Lat Amwww.thisischile.cl Thursday, January 16, 2014 retrieved January 27, 2014
  10. Jump up^ “Concentrating Solar Power Projects – Atacama-1” . National Renewable Energy Laboratory . 1 July 2015 . Retrieved 10 September 2016 .
  11. Jump up^ Abengoa to build 110MW solar tower storage plant in Chilereneweconomy.com.au/ By Giles Parkinson on 13 January 2014
  12. Jump up^ Chilean Congress approved new law for NCRE: 20% by 2025 ArchivedOctober 12, 2013, at theWayback Machine. Centro de Energias Renovables retrieved January 26, 2014
  13. Jump up^ Abengoa to develop South America’s largest solar-thermal plant in Chilewww.abengoa.com retived January 9, 2014

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