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Case Study

Hybrid solar power and heat plant

parabolic trough

Advisian was responsible for conceptual design and feasibility study for multiple plant scenarios including thermal oil parabolic trough with combined cycle integration and finally resulting in a 70 MW CSP plant with 14 hours of molten salt energy storage, with capability to provide process heat to the local salt mine and a 70 MW PV plant.

The Situation

Enerstar is an IPP who has signed supply contracts with an existing salt mine in the Antofagasta region of Chile. While the location is remote, the area has one of the highest solar resources in the world. As a result, Enerstar has been considering solar and potentially gas hybrid options to supply electricity and heat, and sought a suitable partner to further develop the concepts.


Advisian was engaged to undertake a review of all technical aspects of the project as well as cost estimating. This included the analysis of various technology options, including the role of a CSP-Natural Gas hybrid plant from a cost, and technical risk, perspective.

After multiple renditions and close collaboration with the client, we were able to develop a novel concept that involved both solar thermal and PV technology to meet the client’s needs. This concept essentially provides both process heat and electricity to the local mine, and combines the two solar technologies as a hybrid, to provide the most effective commercial outcome where sustainable energy is generated for the mine while lowering project life cycle costs by implementing PV.


To help successfully deliver this project, Advisian was able to draw upon our combined renewable, fossil and mining expertise. By combining the different solar technologies and using the indigenous solar resources, the outcome successfully optimised the result for the client, using the available fuel resources at the site. We continue to work with Enerstar to further develop this project as it progresses closer to implementation, including technical support of the Environmental Impact Statement, which was recently approved by the Chilean environmental authority.