Cleantechnica has a post on the steady increase in renewable energy usage in Chile, particularly in the mining sector (replacing expensive diesel generation) - SunEdison To Set Up 70 MW Solar Power Project For Chilean Copper Mine
SunEdison has announced that it has signed an agreement with Antofagasta Minerals S.A. to set up 69.5 MW solar photovoltaic power project at one of the latter copper mine in Chile. Antofagasta plans to use solar power to meet a part of the electricity demand at its Los Pelambres mine.
This would not be the first clean energy initiative to be implemented by Antofagasta for the Los Pelambres mine. The mine operators, from the very beginning, had a clear plan to implement sustainable energy solutions. Currently, wind energy is being used to partly power the mine operations. Los Pelambres mine currently has an electricity supply contract from one of Chile’s wind energy projects. The mine will start sourcing hydro power from a 110 MW project from 2020. The company is planning to invest in a geothermal power project as well.
El Tesoro, another mine owned by the company in Chile, gets some of the electricity from a solar thermal power plant. The project, installed at an investment of $15 million, can generate 25 GWh electricity every. The project has helped reduce diesel consumption by 55% and mine’s emissions by 4%.