Chile has its first floating solar farm installed and on a brand-new type of site: a tailings pond, owned by the mining giant AngloAmerican.

Located at Los Bronces mines, north of Santiago, the 84 kWp pilot. This pilot will generate 153 MWh per year. All for the company’s energy needs. The project, developed by Lenergie and for which island and anchoring system designed and supplied by Ciel & Terre. It recently inaugurated with Chilean leading figures in the field of energy.

As part of a Chilean energy revolution, it stands for a deep change. Change in society and the country. As well as the opening of a promising new market.

© Lenergie – Los Bronces floating PV plant using Hydrelio® technology, Chile

© Lenergie – Los Bronces floating PV plant using Hydrelio® technology, Chile

RISING INTEREST IN FLOATING SOLAR FROM LARGE-SCALE COMPANIES

AngloAmerican mining corporation is a prominent actor in the global mining industry. All with a turnover of over $30 billion in 2018. In the company’s push for sustainability, floating solar proves to be a concrete and valuable solution. This initiative is strongly supported by Chilean national institutions.

So that’s such as the Ministry of Mining, the National Energy and Mining Service (Sernageomin), and the Ministry of Energy. Likewise, several elements account for the rising interest of these entities in this technology.

First of all, one argument is AngloAmerican’s significant electrical demand. It’s mining is a notoriously Energy-intensive industry.

Second is the number and size of the group’s tailings ponds.

Finally then, Chile also experiences severe levels of evaporation.

That which adds a challenge in the company’s mining processes.  Thereby floating solar helps manage this phenomeno

Last but not least, AngloAmerican’s available reservoir space is real.  Also it represents a significant investment opportunity for the international corporation. All these limits in combination make floating solar an ideal solution. A solution which can be widely spread to many other countries.

Ciel & Terre, the French floating solar group, has partnered with Lenergie, a local solar developer and engineering company. All to introduce and expand floating solar in Chile. For the Los Bronces’ plant, Ciel & Terre supplied i® technology and designed the facility’s anchoring system.

So installing a floating solar array requires a reliable system with solid long-term bankability. These considerations oriented AngloAmerican’s choice of FPV technology towards Ciel & Terre. As well as their Hydrelo® system.

As a large investor and major actor in the mining industry, AngloAmerican needs quality partners to guarantee the floating PV plant’s reliability and bankability for the financial investment. These can only be backed up by experience, innovation, tried-and-tested products and a qualified manufacturing process, which are Ciel & Terre’s strengths. As the reference actor on the floatovoltaics market, the company benefits from the largest track-record worldwide.

AN INNOVATIVE FIRST FPV PLANT IN THE CHILEAN MINING SPACE, REPRESENTING A FLOATING SOLAR MEGATREND

This Chilean project is a perfect mix of technology and innovation to produce energy while protecting the environment. So the Los Bronces floating PV plant is such an installation. All to be built on a tailings pond. One that generates electricity for self-consumption up to 153 MwH a year. Similarly generation with direct benefits in terms of carbon emissions and evaporation reduction. So a technical achievement is the anchoring lines’ adaptability to a water level variation up to 25 m.

Finally, this mix is becoming increasingly attractive to a growing number of actors.

In conclusion, the Minister for Mines, Baldo Prokurica, declared this will be part of a determined approach. Finally and one to deeply transform the Chilean society (#ChileEnMarcha), with sustainability as a core theme.

Source: Ciel & Terre International