November 15 (Renewables Now) - Latin American utility group AES Andes on Friday received the green light from Argentina and Chile to restart bidirectional power exchange between the two countries via its 409-kilometre InterAndes interconnection line.
The 345-kV transmission link, which runs between the Andes substation in Chile and the Cobos substation in Argentina, has been idle since 2011.
With the new agreement between the two nations, up to 80 MW of solar power can be exported from Chile to Argentina during the day. During the night, Argentina will send up to 200 MW from AES Andes’ natural gas plant to Chile. This way, Chile can displace diesel generation at night and reduce curtailment of renewable energy in the system, lowering systemic costs and emissions at the same time, AES Andes said.
“[E]lectrically isolated generation components will be used in Chile during the day and in Argentina during the night”, the company, which runs the utility business in both countries, explained.
The link will also serve as a backup in the event of electrical emergencies, making the nations’ power systems more resilient. In addition, the grid operators in Chile and Argentina can interrupt the power exchange based on economic opportunity.
AES Andes built the InterAndes cross-border link in the late 1990s to supply electricity from its gas plant in northern Argentina to demanding mining regions in northern Chile. In 2011, the company’s export permit was revoked so power production from the plant shifted to just Argentina.