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Solar Powered Metro Sets a Shining Example

Santiago, Chile, will soon roll out the world’s first public transportation system run primarily on solar powered energy. PR Newswire reports that electricity generated by a new solar power plant will fill up to 60 percent of Metro of Santiago’s energy demand starting sometime in 2017.

Who’s Making the Switch

Easy-Energy-Saving-Who's-Making-the-SwitchMetro of Santiago, an underground railway network, serves Chile’s capital city. The system was once described by SantiagoTourist.com as “very clean, efficient and packed like sardines during rush hours.” The system currently carries 2.2 million passengers per day in a city with a population of more than five million. 

The Power Behind the Project

Easy-Energy-Saving-The-Power-Behind-the-ProjectThe Metro will receive power generated from the El Pelicano Solar project, a 100-megawatt solar power plant going up near the cities of La Higuera and Vallenar. An agreement between Total and SunPower Corp. says the latter will purchase 300 gigawatt hours per year for “the supply of clean, solar energy” to Metro of Santiago. Oil and gas company, Total, is the world’s second ranked solar energy operator with SunPower.

Why It Matters

Easy-Energy-Saving-Why-It-MattersEduardo Medina is SunPower’s executive vice president of global power plants. He says, “Solar is an ideal energy source for Chile because of the country’s high solar resource and transparent energy policies.”
Bernard Clément, Total’s senior vice president, Business & Operations of the New Energies division, agrees. “We are proud to partner with Metro in developing a new way of powering public transportation systems through competitive, reliable and clean energy.” 

Fast Tracking Solar Powered Transportation 

Easy-Energy-Saving-Fast-Tracking-Solar-Powered-TransportationIf all goes according to plan, construction of the solar power plant to fuel the metro system will begin later this year and should be up and running by late next year. That puts Metro of Santiago on track to run on mostly solar energy by late 2017.

Explore Chile’s Metro of Santiago, or learn more about solar power plants and the benefits of solar energy.

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