The US$100 million expansion is expected to be operational in the second half of 2020. Once completed the new addition will give Cerro Pabellón a total output of 81MW. Once the third unit is fully operational, the geothermal plant It will produce a total of 600GWh per year, avoiding the emission of 470,000t of CO2 into the atmosphere.
"We are taking advantage of our experience in geothermal energy, as well as the technical characteristics of production of the existing units of Cerro Pabellón and its transmission line, to expand the capacity of the plant and further exploit the potential of geothermal sources in Chile," said Guido Cappetti, GM of Geotérmica del Norte. "The construction of this new unit confirms our role as pioneers of geothermal energy and our commitment to continue investing in its development, given the important role it can play in diversifying and increasing the sustainability of the generation matrix of Chile."
The new unit will use high enthalpy binary cycle technology, as will the units in operation. Located on the high plateau of the Atacama Desert in the Antofagasta Region, Cerro Pabellón is the only one geothermal plant in South America and the highest of its kind in the world, since it is located at 4,500m above sea level.