5 key features of Cerro Dominador, Latin America’s first thermosolar plant
Today was the inauguration of the Cerro Dominador solar project, which will generate clean energy 24 hours a day and contribute to speeding up Chile’s decarbonization.
The thermosolar complex is located in the Antofagasta Region, in the Atacama Desert, one of the areas with the highest solar radiation in the world.
Cerro Dominador is made up of 10,600 heliostats that reflect the sun’s light, concentrating its heat in a receiver located in the plant’s central tower. The tower is the second highest building in South America at 250 meters (820 feet).
Molten salts circulate around the receiver, absorbing heat to reach temperatures of more than 560˚C (1040°F). They are then stored in huge tanks to be used to generate electricity by way of a steam turbine.
Thanks to its novel storage system, the plant is able to produce energy 24 hours a day, not only during daylight hours.
The energy generated at Cerro Dominador will be 100% renewable, will supply approximately 380,000 homes and will reduce emissions by around 640,000 tons of CO2 per year.