Etrion set to announce new market entry

Friday, November 8, 2013

Geneva-based solar developer Etrion (TSX: ETX) expects to announce its entrance into a new market by the first quarter of 2014, according to CEO Marco Northland.

With 60MW of installed solar power in Italy, Etrion is looking to develop projects in Chile and potentially other places in Latin America to offset the seasonality of its Italian plants' power production.

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The firm is looking for long-term growth potential, complemented by a strong partnership to minimize risk, Northland told the firm's Q3 results call.

Etrion expects to have 100MW worth of "shovel ready" solar projects in Chile by the end of 2014, and is in talks with potential customers, such as mining companies, to secure power purchase agreements (PPAs) for its projects.

Development at the company's 8.8MW Aguas Blancas plant in northern region II is on track to begin operations in June or July next year. The firm's 72MW Aguas Blancas II project will be subdivided into four adjacent blocks to provide more flexibility for PPA negotiations, the company says.

Although Etrion's 70MW Salvador project, also in northern Chile, is being developed with Total (NYSE: TOT) (49MW net to Etrion) under a merchant model, selling output on the spot market, the firm hopes to have the majority of the project's production under PPAs in the long term.