Quantcast

Santiago's Metro System to Become World's First to Be Powered Largely by Solar and Wind

Business

The subway system in Chile’s capital will soon be the world's first to run largely on renewable energy sources.

Santiago's metro has 103 kilometers of tracks and 108 stations, making it the second-longest metro system in Latin America after Mexico City. Photo credit: Flickr

The Metro de Santiago, the second-longest metro system in Latin America after Mexico City, has signed two agreements, one with a solar energy provider and another with a wind 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 for all."

Chile's President Michelle Bachelet announces on May 23 that the Metro de Santiago will become the world's first metro to run mostly on renewables. Photo credit: SunPower Corp

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 that the 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 annually.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

It’s Time to Break Saudi’s Oil Monopoly and Embrace Clean Transportation

Ready to Buy an Electric Vehicle? Here’s What You Need to Know

Solar Boat to Make Solo Trip From California to Hawaii

Meet the Carbon-Neutral Sports Car Made From Hemp

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Natural Resources Defense Council

By Emily Deanne

Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.

Read More Show Less
Kokia drynarioides, commonly known as Hawaiian tree cotton, is a critically endangered species of flowering plant that is endemic to the Big Island of Hawaii. David Eickhoff / Wikipedia

By Lorraine Chow

Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Frederick Bass / Getty Images

States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of lava flows from the eruption of volcano Kilauea on Hawaii, May 2018. Frizi / iStock / Getty Images

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
A couple works in their organic garden. kupicoo / E+ / Getty Images

By Kristin Ohlson

From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A competitor in action during the Drambuie World Ice Golf Championships in Uummannaq, Greenland on April 9, 2001. Michael Steele / Allsport / Getty Images

Greenland is open for business, but it's not for sale, Greenland's foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger told Reuters after hearing that President Donald Trump asked his advisers about the feasibility of buying the world's largest island.

Read More Show Less
AFP / Getty Images / S. Platt

Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.

Read More Show Less
Newly established oil palm plantation in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay

By Hans Nicholas Jong

Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.

It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."

Read More Show Less