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The Metro becoming the world’s first to run on mainly renewable energy.

Posted by Luke Upton on May 31, 2016

Michelle Bachelet announcing the deals (PR Newswire).The Metro of Santiago, which serves around 2.5 million passengers a day across five lines and over 100 stations is set to become the world’s first to run mainly on solar and wind energy under deals announced this month by the country’s president, Michelle Bachelet (pictured right). The two 15-year deals mean from 2018 the Metro of Santiago will run on 60 per cent renewable energy. Total and SunPower Corp will deliver 42% of the metro’s energy requirements by clean solar energy.

And a wind farm developed by Elecnor and owned by Latin America Power will provide 18 per cent of the metro’s electricity needs. With 60% of the metro’s energy coming from renewable sources, it is expected that Chile’s CO2 emissions will be reduced by 130,000 tonnes a year.

Together, the two projects equate to a state investment of over USD$500 million. The solar power will be generated from the El Pelícano Solar Project, a 100-megawatt (AC) project near the municipalities of La Higuera (Coquimbo Region) and Vallenar (Atacama Region). Construction of the solar power plant will begin this year, with expected operation by the end of 2017.

"This contract is expressing Chile's commitment for a sustainable world. We are proud to partner with Metro in developing a new way of powering public transportation systems through competitive, reliable and clean energy. This project supports our ambition to become the responsible energy major," says Bernard Clément, senior vice president of Business & Operations, of the New Energies division of Total ( @Total ).

"SunPower is proud to serve Metro of Santiago's growing energy demand with cost-competitive, renewable solar power," said Eduardo Medina, executive vice president, global power plants, SunPower. "Solar is an ideal energy source for Chile because of the country's high solar resource and transparent energy policies. In partnership with Total, SunPower is committed to the continued growth of our business in Chile."

SunPower ( @SunPower ), a  global solar technology company and an affiliate of Total, will design and build the project and provide operations and maintenance once it is operational. The company will construct a SunPower® Oasis® power plant system at the site. The Oasis system is a fully-integrated, modular solar power block that is engineered for rapid and cost-effective deployment of utility-scale solar projects while optimizing land use. The technology includes robotic solar panel cleaning capability that uses 75 percent less water than traditional cleaning methods and can help improve system performance by up to 15 percent.

Whilst a 185MW wind farm in San Juan in northern Chile will provide 18 per cent of the metro's electricity needs. Developed by Spanish firm Elecnor ( @Elecnor_Deimos ) and owned by Brazilian renewable energy firm Latin America Power the wind farm is slated for completion in 2017.

Innovation and transit will be a key theme at our SmartTransit show which takes place in New York in October 2016. Find out more about the show here. 

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Topics: Rolling Stock, smartcities

Luke Upton

Written by Luke Upton

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