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World’s 1st Public Transport System To Run On Solar

The Metro of Santiago, Chile, will be the first public transport system to run mostly on solar energy, after a new agreement signed with Total and SunPower this week.

According to an announcement from US solar manufacturer SunPower, in cooperation with Total, a global integrated energy producer and provider, the Metro of Santiago, Chile, has signed a power purchase agreement for the supply of 300 GWh annually of clean solar energy for its public transport network.

Chile President Michelle Bachelet at today's announcement by Total and SunPower to provide solar power for Metro de Santiago, the world's first metro to run on solar. (PRNewsFoto/SunPower Corp.)

Chile President Michelle Bachelet at the announcement

This should make the Metro of Santiago the world’s first public transport system to run mostly on solar energy, which is good news for the system’s 2.2 million daily passengers.

“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.”

SunPower and Total will design and build the 100 MW El Pelícano Solar Project, located near the municipalities of La Higuera (Coquimbo Region) and Vallenar (Atacama Region), which is expected to begin construction this year, with operation expected by the end of 2017.

“This contract is expressing Chile’s commitment for a sustainable world,” added Bernard Clément, senior vice president of Business & Operations, of the New Energies division of Total. “We are proud to partner with Metro in developing a new way of powering public transportation systems through competitive, reliable and clean energy. This project supports our ambition to become the responsible energy major.”

 
 
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