Element Power Solar (EPS) unveiled its plan to develop an interpretive and educational center in the Atacama Desert in Chile, aimed at building awareness of sustainable technologies and at promoting the utilization of renewable energy. Element Power Solar is convinced that further development of solar energy will be driven by its economic merits and by its user friendly features. “We at EPS need to make the knowledge of solar energy more accessible, its characteristics more visible, its benefits more tangible for users, investors and society at large,” declared Paolo Pietrogrande, Chairman of Element Power Solar, “We have the opportunity to share with the local communities our global knowledge of developing, building and operating successful solar power plants, and we may learn from them how to best serve their needs for a clean, sustainable energy to be shared by future generations. This is particularly important in a country where solar energy has the potential of becoming a relevant contributor of further sustainable economic growth.”
The new center will be co-developed with SERNATUR (National Tourism Service of Chile), the municipality of Calama, and will be open to other renewable energy developers; the program is part of a broader strategy by Element Power Solar to develop 10 solar power plants, each with 30 MW nominal capacity, in the SING (Sistema Interconectado del Norte Grande, including Arica y Parinacota, Tarapacá and Antofagasta Regions).Seven of these projects (about 210 MW of nominal capacity) have already been granted the environmental permit by the Servicio de Evaluacion Ambiental (Resolución de Calificación Ambiental), while permits for the other three are expected in the next few months.“Element Power Solar expects to begin construction of at least five solar plants this year” says Ivan Furones, Chief Development Officer Europe & Emerging of Element Power Solar, “This is an important commitment by the company to respond to the growing demand for electric power in the region by capturing the unique irradiation potential of the Atacama Desert with proven, high performance, and advanced solar technology.”Once built and fully operational, the electricity produced by the 10 projects will support the growing energy needs of the mining industry. Furthermore, they will displace the use of fossil fuels in the regions, with 530,000 tons per year of net reduction of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.