[Vision2020] Chile's Solar Power Boom; Solar/Wind Runs Most of Metro System
ngier006 at gmail.com
Sat Jun 4 12:43:18 PDT 2016
Here is what Latin America' Best Socialist Government is Doing. nfgChile
Producing So Much Solar Energy It’s Giving Electricity Away for Free
By Lorraine Chow <http://www.nationofchange.org/news/author/lorraine-chow/>
Thanks to Chile’s major investments
renewables <http://ecowatch.com/business/renewables/>, the Latin American
country is seeing an incredible solar <http://ecowatch.com/?s=solar> boom.
In a new Bloomberg report
*Chile Has So Much Solar Energy It’s Giving It Away for Free*, solar
capacity from the country’s central grid has increased four fold to 770
megawatts since 2013. Another 1.4 gigawatts will be added this year with
many solar power projects under development
Thanks to an economic boost from increased mining production, Chile
now has 29 solar farms and another 15 in the pipeline. Enel Green Power
Chile Ltda. recently commissioned Chile’s largest solar PV project
connected to the grid. The 160-megawatt facility will be located in the
northern part of the country in the municipality of María Elena,
about 1,300 kilometers north of Santiago.
With so much clean power available, the price of solar has cost absolutely
nothing for certain regions in recent months. As Bloomberg stated:
Spot prices reached zero in parts of the country on 113 days through April,
a number that’s on track to beat last year’s total of 192 days, according
to Chile’s central grid operator.
However, the article points out that Chile’s rapid solar expansion isn’t
all good news. Due to the nation’s bifurcated power grid, the central and
northern grids are not connected.
that most of the demand is in the central grid, yet the best solar resource
in the country resides in the Atacama desert in the north. The northern
grid represents approximately 24 percent of installed capacity whereas the
central grid holds the majority of capacity at 74 percent of installed
The northern grid is where solar prices are going to zero, Bloomberg noted.
Meanwhile, the main population centers in the south are not seeing the same
Chile, therefore, must invest in its transmission infrastructure in order
for the whole country to tap into the north’s glut solar power and
“Chile has at least seven or eight points in the transmission lines that
are collapsed and blocked, and we have an enormous challenge to bypass the
choke points,” Energy Minister Maximo Pacheco told the publication. “When
you embark on a path of growth and development like the one we’ve had, you
obviously can see issues arising.”
The good news is that the Chilean government is addressing the problem with
its planned 1,865-mile transmission line that will link the two grids by
Santiago’s Metro System to Become World’s First to Be Powered Largely by
Solar and Wind
The subway system in Chile’s capital will soon be the world’s first to run
largely on renewable energy <http://ecowatch.com/business/renewables/>
The Metro de Santiago <http://www.metrosantiago.cl/>, the second-longest
metro system in Latin America after Mexico City, has signed two agreements,
one with a solar <http://ecowatch.com/?s=solar> energy provider and another
with a wind <http://ecowatch.com/?s=solar> power company, which will
provide 60 percent of metro’s energy needs by 2018.
An announcement of the $500 million deal
was made last week by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet during a visit to
the National Stadium station that’s currently under construction.
“More than two and a half million passengers use the Metro daily,” she said
“[They] will not only be able to travel faster and safer; they will also be
able to travel in a means of transport that cares for the planet, which
reduces our carbon footprint and that makes possible a sustainable future
California solar company SunPower, an affiliate of French oil company
Total, will begin construction of the El Pelícano Solar Project, a
100-megawatt facility near the municipalities of La Higuera and Vallenar.
The solar plant, expected to go live by the end of 2017, will supply 300
gigawatt hours per year of clean energy to Metro de Santiago, or 42 percent
of its annual energy demands.
“SunPower is proud to serve Metro of Santiago’s growing energy demand with
cost-competitive, renewable solar power,” Eduardo Medina, the executive
vice president of SunPower’s global power plants, said
“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.”
As for wind power, the metro will receive 18 percent of its energy needs
from a 185-megawatt San Juan wind project
developed by Spain-based Elecnor and owned by Brazilian renewable energy
firm Latin America Power, according to Quartz
Quartz noted that both solar and wind projects will start service in 2018
and supply the metro for the next 15 years. The metro will receive its
remaining 40 percent of its energy needs from the Chilean electric
distribution company Chilectra.
The Natural Resources Defense Council noted
amount of energy generated by the wind and solar projects for the metro
will be equivalent to the energy needs of 104,000 homes. Not only that, the
impressive initiative is expected to mitigate 130,000 tons of CO2 emissions
A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they
shall never sit in.
“Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity.
Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance
from another. This immaturity is self- imposed when its cause lies not in
lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without
guidance from another. Sapere Aude! ‘Have courage to use your own
understand-ing!—that is the motto of enlightenment.
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