National Energy Grid
Full Size Map National Electricity Transmission Grid of Chile(195 kb)
The Republic of Chile is located in southern South America, stretching along the west coast of the southern half of the continent. Chile shares a 3,200-mile border to the east with Argentina and also borders Bolivia to the northeast and Peru to the north. Chile is roughly twice the size of Montana, and its population was estimated at 15.3 million in 2000, with a growth rate of 1.4%. Chile's energy sector is largely privatized, particularly the electricity industry. Chilean energy demand has been growing rapidly (averaging more than 7% annually) since 1992. A significant portion of this growth has come from increased power demand by the mining sector, the country's single largest industry, and by large urban areas such as Santiago, which alone contains almost 40% of Chile's population. The increased demand combined with scant fossil fuel resources make Chile a net importer of energy.
Power generation in Chile is organized around four grid systems: 1) Sistema Interconectado del Norte Grande (SING), the northern grid, which accounts for about 19% of national generation; 2) the Central Interconnected System (SIC), the central region's grid, which accounts for 68.5% of national generation and serves 93% of Chile's population; 3) the Aysén Grid in southern Chile (0.3% of total generation); and 4) the Magallanes Grid, also in southern Chile (0.8% of total generation). Electricity transmission and distribution takes place through the four grids, as well as 36 electricity distribution companies. Endesa-Chile, either directly or through its subsidiaries (Pehuenche SA, Pangue SA, and San Isidro SA), is the principal supplier to the SIC grid, accounting for 57% of the installed capacity and about 49% of electricity sold in 2001. On the other hand, SING is dominated by independent producers, though Endesa-Chile, through its subsidiary Celta SA, still accounts for about 20% of the installed generating capacity connected to that grid.
A diagram of Chile's SIC electricity grid is shown on the left.