BUENOS AIRES -- Argentina's Chinese-built and financed Cauchari Solar Park, the largest of its kind in Latin America, officially launched commercial operations over the weekend, injecting power into the national power grid.
Built by China Power Construction and the Shanghai Electric Power Construction Company, the solar park is located in the town of Cauchari in the northwestern province of Jujuy, at an altitude of about 4,200 meters above sea level.
The project, authorized by Argentina's Wholesale Electric Market Management Company, supplies the grid with a total of 300 megawatts of electricity and has useful life of approximately 20 years.
The park is divided into three areas -- Cauchari I, II and III, each generating 100 megawatts of power -- and covers approximately 600 hectares installed with 1.2 million photovoltaic panels, in addition to a 345-kilovolt booster station.
According to Tu Shuiping, general manager of PowerChina Argentina, about 1,500 jobs have been created during the construction of the park, which, once completed, will continue to provide employment opportunities in operation and maintenance, as well as to spur the development of the mining and smelting industries.
The park's launch is expected to generate about 50 million U.S. dollars in revenue for the province of Jujuy, help promote local economic development, raise standards of living in an area with limited access to energy, and contribute to the development of clean energy sources in Argentina.
Construction of the plant began in April 2018, after China and Argentina signed a cooperation agreement within the framework of the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.