SunPower has signed a power purchase agreement to supply solar electricity to Metro of Santiago in Chile from a 100MW project.


The PPA calls for the supply of 300 gigawatt hours per year of clean solar energy, making Metro of Santiago the world’s first public transportation system to run mostly on solar energy.

The electricity will come from the 100MW El Pelicano solar project near the municipalities of La Higuera and Vallenar.

Construction of the project is due to start this year and the plant is anticipated to start operations by the end of 2017.

SunPower global power plants executive vice president Eduardo Medina said: "SunPower is proud to serve Metro of Santiago’s growing energy demand with cost-competitive, renewable solar power.

"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 will design and construct the project and provide operations and maintenance once it starts operations.

The company will build a SunPower Oasis power plant system at the site. SunPower said the Oasis system is a modular solar power block that is engineered for rapid and cost-effective deployment of utility-scale solar projects while optimizing land use.

The technology features robotic solar panel cleaning capability that utilizes 75% less water than traditional cleaning methods and can help enhance system performance by about 15%.

Image: Chile President Michelle Bachelet making the announcement. Photo: Courtesy of SunPower Corp.