Fingers crossed Peru, one of the smallest countries in South America could be home to the world’s largest single-site solar project by capacity.
Dubbed Horizonte de Verano the solar project is set to be developed by Verano Energy, an international energy company specialising in renewable energy projects in Latin America. It has a planned capacity of 5.85GW which is more than double the capacity of Bhadla Solar Park, the current largest solar power plant in the world based on capacity.
Bhadla Solar Park sits on an area of 56 square kilometres in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, India. Its construction began back in 2015 and was carried out in four phases until its completion in 2018. With a total installed capacity of 2,055 MW, the solar park became the largest of its kind in the world.
Noteworthy, Bhadla Solar Park was initiated by the Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Limited (RRECL), a joint venture between the Government of Rajasthan and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). Its construction cost about US$ 2.175 billion, a part of which was contributed by the Climate Investment Fund (CIF).
Established back in 2008, CIF is a multilateral climate fund that enables climate action in over 70 low- and middle-income countries. The fund deploys highly concessional finance to empower transformations in clean technology, energy access, climate resilience, nature-based solutions, and other areas.
Development of the Horizonte de Verano Solar Park project
Recently, Verano Energy submitted an environmental impact assessment for the project to the relevant authorities. The company expects to receive permits from the Peruvian authorities in the first half of 2025 following which the development and construction of the world’s largest single-site solar project by capacity shall begin.
Due to the vast scale of the project, the company plans to commission it in phases. The first phase which shall deliver a 1.5GW solar power plant is set to come online in mid-2027. The entire Horizonte de Verano solar park is set to be commissioned by early 2032.
Verano has been very active in the South American solar industry in the last 12 months. Just this month (Jan 2024) the company has sold a 150MW project in Argentina after acquiring a 300MW portfolio in Colombia about 8 months ago.
However, the industry stakeholders are reportedly keen to see how effectively the 11-year company will handle a project of such a massive scale. The project’s nameplate capacity (5.85GW) is per se almost as large as Peru’s total electricity generation capacity of 7.2GW.
Horizonte de Verano solar park to power mega green hydrogen and ammonia production facilities
Upon completion, the facility is meant to generate power mainly for the operation of Verano Energy’s proposed ammonia production plant in Peru. The ammonia production plant, which is the company’s first entry into the green hydrogen and ammonia sectors, shall have the capacity to produce 1.65 million tons per year.
According to reports, with the commissioning of the first phase of the Horizonte de Verano solar park in 2027, Verano Energy shall be in a position to produce over 420,000 tons of green ammonia per year.