Jul 03, 2012 (Dow Jones) -- Dona Ines de Collahuasi, one of the world's largest copper mines, tendered roughly 13% of its daytime power needs to two solar energy plants to be built by Spain's Solarpack, the Chilean copper mine said Tuesday.
Amid its need to double its installed capacity of 15,000 megawatts this decade, Chile is pushing for greater use of non-conventional renewable energy sources such as solar power.
The government aims to increase renewable energy sources to 20% of Chile's matrix by 2020 from the current 3%.
Solarpack will bring these two plants being built in Chile's Atacama desert on line in 2013, and Collahuasi has preferential rights to buy energy from another Solarpack project in the works, the copper mine said.
Copper-mining companies in Chile could face an energy crunch in coming years as legal hurdles have been delaying several planned power projects in the Andean nation.
The copper mine didn't disclose how much it will pay for the energy supply deal.
Collahuasi is controlled by Anglo American PLC (AAL.LN) and Xstrata PLC (XTA.LN), each of which holds a 44% stake. A consortium led by Mitsui & Co. (8031.TO) holds the rest.
In 2011, according to data from state copper commission Cochilco, Collahuasi produced 453,300 tons of copper, down from 504,000 tons the previous year, on strikes and inclement weather.