Every day, in the Chañares solar field in Chile’s Atacama desert, a group of women is engaged in taking care of the panels that make up Enel Green Power’s large solar PV plant.
They are women of the local communities, who work at one of the micro-businesses, established with Enel’s support, to provide many of the services that are needed for the operation of the plants we have built.
Taking care of details
In the Atacama desert temperatures can be extremely high and the wind extremely strong. One of the main problems regarding the maintenance of solar facilities is preserving them from the sand that is continuously settling on the panels.
Keeping solar modules clean requires care, constancy and attention to details. We have involved a number of women from the local community and taught them how to use the cleaning machines and maintenance techniques.
“We were given the opportunity to work in a field that usually is reserved to men. And as women we can do the same job but we do it paying more attention to details and particulars”
Elizabeth Escudero Diaz, solar PV maintenance technician at Chañares
Growing up together
Involving local communities is one of our priorities. We bring clean energy and development, being concerned about creating shared value that will result in better living conditions, employment opportunities, environmental protection.
“An area has its history, a balance prior to our arrival. We must take into account how our actions, our plants and our projects are inserted in this balance without disrupting it”
Antonella Pellegrini, Sustainability area manager Enel Green Power Latin America
The Chañares solar field, as well as the Ollagüe hybrid plant, are examples of the way in which we place ourselves at the service of Chile’s local populations who, also in the recent past, have suffered the presence of industries and companies as a forced invasion.
Mutual trust and collaboration with the local communities are the pillars of shared intentions that are nourished and grow to form the common good.
Sustainability is part of the way we are and how we act starting from the design of plants, characterises their construction and continues along the whole period of activity.
The clean energy district
The Chañares solar PV plant is part of the renewable district that Enel Green Power is developing in the north of Chile, in the region of Antofagasta, between the Pacific Ocean and the deserts at the foot of the Andes.
Our renewables hub in the country’s north already consists of six online solar fields, which will be joined by a wind farm and two record-breaking plants, currently under construction: the new Cerro Pabellón geothermal plant – the first one in the whole of Latin America using this technology – and the Finis Terrae solar field which, with its annual 400 GWh will become the largest one operated by Enel Green Power in the world.
“For us it’s most important that the company should know our traditions, our habits. We want them to enhance the effort we are making as they give us the opportunity to carry on”
Soledad del Carmen Bautista, auxiliary cleaning staff Cerro Pebellón plant
At present our presence in the Latin American country results in a total installed capacity close to 700 MW, of which 340 MW from wind, 253 MW from solar PV and 92 MW from hydropower. Ongoing projects for more than 500 MW must be added which, once completed, will generate a total installed capacity of around 1,200 MW.