Total and SunPower Corp. recently announced that SunPower has signed a power purchase agreement for the supply of 300 gigawatt hours per year of clean solar energy to Metro of Santiago. With this agreement, Metro of Santiago will become the first public transportation system in the world to run mostly on solar energy. Metro of Santiago currently serves 2.2 million passengers per day.
The 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.
“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, a leading 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.