Chile Appoints Board Of New Electric System Operator In Midst Of Grid Overhaul
Following a series of ill-managed issues concerning the operation of its electricity transmission infrastructure, Chile has appointed five directors for the Board of its Independent Coordinator of the National Electric System, after its major transmission law upheaval.
The country passed a new law on electricity transmission in July in order to help the development of both renewable and non-renewable energy projects. Under the policy, which was entered into the Congress in October 2015, a new national interconnected power system was to be established alongside a new independent operator.
As reported by PVTech, after a tender process starting in August, 30 applicants to become part of the new independent operator have been evaluated and cut down to five positions:
- Germán Henríquez Veliz, President, for five years
- Andrés Alonso Rivas, Director, for three years
- Pilar Bravo Rivera, Counselor, for three years
- Claudio Espinoza Moraga, Director, for five years
- Jaime Peralta Rodriguez, Director, for five years
The directors will take office on October 11th. Directors were drawn from across the country’s existing power infrastructure sector. Thus, they have an understanding of the issues facing the nation’s grid.
At the time of the law being passed, Carlos Finat, executive director of the Chilean Renewable Energy Association (ACERA) said the modernization of the Electricity Transmission Act was a long time coming. It is hoped additional expansion of the system will help to distribute energy and allow clean energy being generated mostly in the north of the country to become economically viable and reach different regions of Chile.
“Expansion of the system is expected to help to distribute energy and allow clean energy being generated mostly in the north of the country to reach different regions of Chile. Solar projects tend to be concentrated in the North of the country near the Atacama Desert, which has high levels of solar irradiation, but an inefficient transmission infrastructure for supply the electricity to power-hungry cities.
“Before the new law was passed, Finat pointed out investments in transmission were being delayed due to specific regulations for expanding the system. Now, with this the new law in effect, it should allow for a more in-depth analysis of requirements of the power generation systems in order to infrastructure can be built in advance of rising demand.”
The executive secretary of the National Energy Commission (CNE), Andres Romero, said new regulation must have the needs of customers at its core, especially those looking to produce their own energy.
He added: “We are convinced that this is the right way to promote public policies: talking and discussing, to build first a common diagnosis and then find shared solutions.”
Future policy will also need to focus on areas such as smart metering, distributed generation and electric transport, Romero added.