OPIC and solar energy: Bolstering renewable resources in development
This year’s Earth Day focus is sustainable cities and how the world’s cities are responding to our climate change challenge. Roughly 5.2 billion people are projected to live in the world’s urban communities by 2050. Developing energy sources, transportation systems and land management will help determine how best to facilitate this global challenge.
For more than 40 years, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has been dedicated to providing financial assistance for private sector projects worldwide. In the recent years, OPIC has increasingly focused more on supporting projects in the renewable resources sector, such solar power, in order to help support a sustainable world.
In Chile, for example, OPIC is providing $62.9 million of debt to SunEdison, a leading solar technology manufacturer and provider of solar energy services, for the construction of a 50.7 MW solar power plant in Chile. The plant, located in the Atacama region, is set to become the largest solar photovoltaic merchant plant in Latin America in 2014 and one of the largest in the world. In its first year of operation, the system is expected to generate 2,700 kWh per year of clean energy, avoiding the emission of more than 135,000 tons of CO2 – the equivalent of removing more than 30,000 cars from the streets.
In March, SunEdison was awarded Project Finance Magazine’s prestigious “Latin America Solar Deal of the Year” award for its work with the San Andres solar power plant in Chile.