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Will Chile become the second-largest new energy storage market in the Americas?

Parul Dubey on September 28, 2023 - in Energy, News

The United States has long been the largest energy storage market in the Americas, and is expected to reach a new high of over 10GW in energy storage projects deployed during 2023 (see details of energy storage projects deployment in the United States). Countries including Canada, Mexico and Chile are catching it up, however, by introducing policies to encourage energy storage development. From a project planning perspective, Chile is likely to emerge as the second largest energy storage market (excluding pumped hydro storage or PHS) in the Americas.

Energy storage in Chile

According to our initial project statistics, Chile’s electrochemical energy storage projects were first commissioned in 2009. As of 2022, Chile’s energy storage deployment has developed slowly, with less than 300 MW of installed capacity (excluding PHS).

The Chilean government has now set an ambitious goal to achieve 70% of total energy consumption from renewable energy sources by 2030, and carbon neutrality by 2050. As a result, Chile has seen a surge in installation of renewable energy generation in recent years, leading to a critical need for energy storage. Furthermore, in October 2022, the Chilean parliament passed a bill to incentivize energy storage and e-mobility development. Starting from 2023, energy storage installation (excluding PHS) is expected to witness explosive growth, with 12 projects planned to commence operation in 2023, equivalent to about 1.3 GW. In addition, from 2024 to 2026 the installed capacity of energy storage projects is expected to be more than 1GW each year.

Project overview

According to data updated in August 2023, Chile has 85 energy storage projects (excluding PHS), reaching nearly 6.4 GW. It is expected that by the end of 2023 there will be a total of 25 projects commissioned in Chile, standing at about 1.7 GW. There are currently 60 projects under construction and planning stage, totalling about 4.7 GW, of which 51 projects are anticipated to commission in the period 2024-2026, with a total of around 3.9 GW.

Different technology routes

Electrochemical is the dominant energy storage type in Chile, with a total of 79 projects, or 4.8 GW. These comprise mainly large-scale front-of-meter projects for renewable energy integration, and li-ion battery storage is the mainstream technology. It is worth noting that 31 out of 79 projects have a continuous discharge duration between 3-6 hours, with an average duration of over 5 hours.
In addition, the country has five molten salt thermal storage projects, totalling 1.6 GW. A hydrogen energy storage project is under planning, developed by HIF Chile in the Magellan-Chile Antarctic Region.
By the end of 2023, Chile is expected to have a total of 1 GW of electrochemical energy storage deployments and 660 MW of molten salt thermal energy storage installation.*

*It should be noted that there is a degree of uncertainty about the future implementation of projects which are currently in the planning stage.

Project deployment by region

From a regional perspective, out of 16 administrative regions in Chile, 14 have energy storage projects (excluding PHS) in operation, under construction and planning. Among them, Antofagasta and Tarapacá are the two largest regions, with installation of 3.7 GW and 1.2 GW respectively, accounting for 57% and 19% of total energy storage in the country (projects in operation, under construction and planning).

It is worth noting that molten salt thermal storage projects are mainly deployed in Antofagasta, with a cumulative installed power of 1.1 GW.

Six GWh-scale electrochemical energy storage projects in Chile

So far, there are six electrochemical energy storage projects recorded with GWh-scale in Chile (excluding PHS), as detailed below:

  1. Antofagasta: Ampliación Parque Fotovoltaico Los Andes, Fase III 226 MW/1,582 MW, expected to commission in 2023
  2. Arica y Parinacota: Parque Fotovoltaico Celda Solar 240 MW/1,200 MWh, expected to commission in 2025
  3. Tarapacá: Optimización Planta Solar Sol del Loa – 10,400 MWh in two phases, with the 2nd phase expected to commission in 2025
  4. Antofagasta: Parque Híbrido Pampas 200 MW/1,000 MWh, expected to commission in 2026
  5. Antofagasta: Parque Fotovoltaico Socompa Solar 450 MW/1,800 MWh, expected to commission in 2026
  6. Antofagasta: Parque Fotovoltaico Cristales 542 MW/2,710 MWh, expected to commission in 2028

Note: Interact Analysis tracks energy storage projects (excluding BTM residential energy storage) in key countries around the world

In Chile, Energy storage project installation is expected to speed up in next 3-5 years, led by Antofagasta and Tarapacá region. 

For further information on battery energy storage, or our upcoming report on Power Conversion Systems in Battery Energy Storage Systems, view our web page here for further insights or to download a brochure or contact Principal Analyst Shirly Zhu for a briefing on the topic.


Source: Will Chile become the second-largest new energy storage market in the Americas? – Interact Analysis

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