The 72 MW María Elena solar plant is located in the municipality of the same name, in the Antofagasta region, and produces 206 GWh of clean energy per year. It consists of 226,152 solar modules distributed over 189 hectares and was built in 2015, at a cost of 190 million dollars.
The main shareholder of Weg-4 is Atlántica Sustainable Infrastructure, which invests in renewable energy in several countries and owns 34.7% of the fund. The other major shareholder is Penta Companía de Seguros de Vida, with 29.7%. They are joined by another 40 investors.
The María Elena plant is the third acquired by Weg-4 in the country, with a total of 170 MW in operation and representing 2.5% of the total installed capacity in solar energy in Chile. In April 2020, it acquired the San Pedro III photovoltaic plant, located in Calama, with an installed capacity of 58 MW; and in January 2021 the Doña Carmen plant, in La Ligua, of 40 MW.
According to local press reports, the new investment is part of Weg-4’s strategy of acquiring plants facing financial problems and working with banks to restructure debt. Its plan is to continue acquiring more renewable energy assets, mainly solar plants, and reach an investment of 500 million in seven years.
As of March 2022, there were 6,328 MW of solar installations in Chile, achieving a 20% penetration in the system