More than 13,000 meters above sea level- construction is underway on Argentina's Cauchari project-- one of the highest solar farms in the world... Yet in this remote part of Argentina you find these signs...in Mandarin!!
That's because South America's largest solar farm...is being built using funding and technology from China- Reuters Correspondent Cassandra Garrison SOUNDBITE: CASSANDRA GARRISON, REUTERS CORRESPONDENT SAYING: "This is a solar project when it's finished will generate about 500 mega watts of solar energy to the national grid.
That's the equivalent of about 260,000 homes in Argentina.
//When it's finished, it will be worth about $550M and 85% of that is financed by China.
It's a similar structure to several other large infrastructure deals that are financed by China in Argentina." In Argentina alone- China is backing projects-- including hydroelectric dams, wind farms, railway networks and is in ongoing talks about a major nuclear power plant cooperation.
...A testament to the rising influence of Beijing in emerging markets such as Latin America.
A trend that is worrying Washington ... SOUNDBITE: CASSANDRA GARRISON, REUTERS CORRESPONDENT SAYING: "The Cauchari project also utilizes Chinese technology which includes Huawei's smart PV inverters.
Those inverters have sparked concern among U.S. lawmakers who say it could be vulnerable to hacking.
But those in charge of the Cauchari project we spoke to here didnt share those concerns and said that Huawei'S solar technology is the best in the market." Seven of the the top 10 suppliers of solar inverters globally are Chinese...with Huawei leading the list.
China's growing renewable energy dominance in emerging markets comes as European firms struggle to compete on price and financing and with the U.S. largely absent as a solar-skeptical Trump administration has ignored green energy prospects.
The Cauchari project in Argentina is scheduled to come online in August.