Transportation

Metro of Santiago to Become the First Public Transportation System in the World to Run on Solar Energy Powered by Total and SunPower

If harnessed, the sun produces enough energy in one hour to power the entire world—every home, factory, vehicle, and device on earth—for a full year!  

Around the globe, SunPower works with strong, forward-thinking partners to magnify the impact of the efforts. From Total to Ford, to utilities, non-profit organizations, and home builders, they are empowering the communities and customers to unleash the potential of solar.  

SunPower has been leading the solar revolution by developing world record-breaking technology, enabling consumers, businesses, governments, and utilities worldwide to harness the benefits of clean, abundant power from the sun for the last 30 years.   

Founded in 1985 and headquartered in San Jose, California, the company operates in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America. Since 2011, SunPower has been majority-owned by Total, the fifth largest publicly-traded energy company in the world.   

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Chile President Michelle Bachelet at the announcement by Total and SunPower (Image source: PR Newswire)  

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, as per SunPower’s recent press release.  

The agreement will supply Metro of Santiago (Chile) with electricity from a 100-megawatt solar power plant, covering up to 60 percent of its energy demand.  

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.  

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Image credit: SunPower  

“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.”  

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 a 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. (Source: SunPower)

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