New high-efficiency modules push Chilean solar power forward

Chile takes environmentally-conscious step towards clean-energy-use, leaning on strong international relations with Chinese supplier of solar-powered panels.

Chile signs contract with Chinese company Trina Solar Limited to turn the sun into a sustainable source of energy. Photo by Recharge News
Chile signs contract with Chinese company Trina Solar Limited to turn the sun into a sustainable source of energy. Photo by Recharge News

The subject of clean-energy-use, or an investment in renewable energy sources, is a pertinent topic of interest in Chile and remains one of the nation’s top priorities. Recent large-scale trading between Chile and China promises an imminent implementation of solar-powered modules across the driest areas of the country.

Having closed a deal with China-based Trina Solar Limited, a global leader in the supply of photovoltaic (PV) modules, Chile is about to make a direct move towards a more sustainable approach to energy-use by the middle of 2014.

Last month, Trina Solar agreed to provide Chile with 36MW of high efficiency TSM-PC14 solar-powered modules, feeding a large-scale energy-saving project across Chile’s northern desert zones. Mr. Zhiguo Zhu, president of Trina Solar’s module business unit, expressed his excitement at finalizing the deal with Chile in a press release last month.

“We are delighted to support this project and bring clean power to Chile… We are enthusiastic about the prospects for solar energy in Chile and look forward to increasing our supply of modules to support the local solar industry,” Zhu said.

By the second quarter of 2014, Chile will have received the entire shipment of the modules, which have passed the required operational tests conducted by the Information for National Certification Bodies (IEC) who proved they can support up to 1000V of energy. These particular modules are designed to work well in high temperature environments with very dry conditions — the main reason why these specific solar-powered modules were chosen for installation across the north of Chile.

“Chile’s vast desert with abundant solar resources creates significant potential for solar energy,” Zhu continued.

When the project is completed, and all the solar-powered energy plates have been installed, Trina Solar’s 36MW modules will generate an impressive 97,000MW of solar energy per year in Chile. This figure translates to enough energy to appease the 48,600 metric tons of CO2 produced in Chile on an annual basis. This is the equivalent to removing more than 10,800 cars from the road.

The environmentally-friendly impact that Chile stands to make from this single trade alone is a significant move towards raising global awareness concerning sustainable energy-use — something which Zhu makes very clear.

“We look forward to continuing this strong strategic partnership and to further supporting the expansion of our customer’s footprint in solar power projects worldwide,” he said.

Chile’s interest in the development of large-scale green energy solutions doesn’t just relate to solar power. The country is also involved in other sustainable energy projects. In a conference in the government house in Buenos Aires, Argentina, last week, Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet announced that she would be offering incentives, including free government land, to encourage new investment in wind energy across Atacama desert in the north of the country.

Chile’s green energy push goes beyond the desert regions, however. The country is also taking its first steps towards the use of tidal energy via two marine energy pilots. The first pilot is designed to experiment with the use of tidal energy and the second hopes to explore the possible power which could be generated by waves. Both initiatives, operating along the southern coast of the country, stand to generate between 100GW and 200GW — close to 15 times the capacity currently used in Chile.