New green energy for Chile

Published on Wednesday, 28 October 2015

“The opening of the Tal Tal wind farm, together with the launch of the construction of the first geothermal plant in the whole of South America and of other facilities for green energy generation, is in line with the political agenda of the Chilean government, which aims at diversifying the country’s energy mix in view of 2050”. The weekend that the country manager of Enel Green Power Chile and Andean countries Salvatore Bernabei has just spent consisted of a particularly busy institutional schedule. Together with the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, the Chilean Energy Minister Máximo Pacheco and the Enel Group CEO Francesco Starace, Bernabei attended the opening of various facilities in the region of Antofagasta. A region that houses the Tal Tal wind farm, the two solar PV fields Lalackama I and II, the Ollagüe hybrid facility and the Cerro Pabellón geothermal project where, on the occasion of the event, EGP launched its drilling activities. “The plants we are opening are just part of our commitment in this country, which has already resulted in almost 600 MW of generation capacity coming into service, a figure we plan to double. Bringing energy where it is lacking – Bernabei explained – means fully improving life conditions. Enel Green Power, which has placed this objective at the core of its path towards sustainable development, is committed to completing various other projects for the benefit of the local communities living in isolated rural areas”.

Tal Tal, located in the district after which it is named, is currently the largest wind farm managed by EGP in Chile. Consisting of 33 turbines each with a 3 MW capacity, totalling an installed capacity of 99 MW, Tal Tal can generate up to 300 GWh per year, equivalent to the annual energy needs of 170,000 Chilean families, thus avoiding 200,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. Also in Chile, the Ollagüe project is a small jewel of sustainability, a true example of smart village in line with the Creating Shared Value model that the Enel Group has introduced into its business. This hybrid plant - built in the Atacama desert at some 3,700 metres above sea level, under particularly hostile weather conditions - counts 1,538 solar PV panels totalling 250 kW, a 30 kW wind turbine equipped with storage batteries, a diesel backup and two Trinum systems. Thanks to this cutting-edge plant, the largest ever built in Chile for community use, the approximately 300 inhabitants of Ollagüe village will have stable round-the-clock electricity.

“We are convinced that sustainability – Bernabei concluded – is not just a word: it’s a value. It’s the only key for our commitment to work for a better world, obliging us to act consistently and responsibly towards future generations. Just like the Enabling Electricity programme, which is testimony to Enel Group’s commitment to provide stable access to electricity to more than a billion people in the world who still lack it. Also in Chile: as well as Ollagüe, other highland population centres will also be able to benefit from the electricity that will be provided also thanks to the so-called ‘solar grandmothers’, selected and trained by the Indian NGO Barefoot College, supported by Enel Green Power.