Solar energy in Chile

Chile is a country in western South America. It occupies a long, narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Chile covers an area of 756,096 square kilometers, with a population of 17.5 million people.

 

PV (PhotoVoltaic) Project in La Tirana, Chile

In 2004, Argentina (Chile’s neighboring country) began to steadily cut natural gas exports to Chile, triggering a major energy crisis. Chile was facing a serious energy shortage in 2014. This shortage was caused by the expected growth in the country’s energy-intensive copper mining industry and the effect of a drought on hydroelectric production. Electricity prices went up by more than 20% in less than four years, and the government was predicting a further 34% rise in the next decade.

Because of this serious electricity shortage, solar projects became a priority in Chile. In January 2016, Chile became the first Latin American country to reach 1GW of solar energy production. Nowadays, Chile is a leading country when it comes to solar energy.

The project consists of a 30,24 megawatt alternating current (MWac) and grid connected solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation facility. The name of the project is “La Tirana Solar One Project”. The Project site is located in the north of Chile, approximately 4 km outside the township of La Tirana, Chile.

The Project was constructed using cadmium telluride thin-film solar modules. The thin film modules absorb sunlight and convert the sunlight into direct current (DC) through a photovoltaic process. Once the modules are manufactured, they require no additional fuel source to generate electricity and as a result emit no air emissions at all.

Project Benefits

  • The project establishes Chile as a leader in solar development.
  • It diversifies Chile’s energy mix in support of the country’s renewable energy policies.
  • Construction of the project created up to 370 construction jobs. Furthermore, there are around 10 ongoing operations and maintenance positions.
  • The project provides for business opportunities in the Copiapó region including construction, environmental, transportation, food and hospitality services.
  • Local vendors were trained and certified to match international standards and locally-produced construction materials were used.
  • In addition, a training program was established at Liceo Politécnico José Antonio Carvajal to prepare students to join the growing solar industry as skilled installers of PV technology.
  • No water is used to clean the PV panels, protecting natural resources

United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

La Tirana Solar Project in Chile

As a Regreener your money directly goes towards supporting projects that are in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Here are the goals recognised by this project:

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy.

Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.