New project lights up Santiago with the power of the sun

New project lights up bus stops in Santiago’s Vitacura community using sustainable energy.


Public transit, the veins of a city, is relied upon by thousands of people everyday across Chile’s capital. Now, Santiago’s transport services have teamed up with innovative engineers to increase safety and sustainability.

Thanks to a new project, anyone waiting for a bus or a taxi in Vitacura early in the morning or after nightfall will be illuminated with solar powered lights. The green technology will be capable of generating light for a 10-meter radius, creating a secure and comfortable environment for commuters.

The power for the lights comes from solar cells that will collect and store solar energy during the daytime hours. They will then turn on just as the sun sets and turn themselves off at dawn. The technology is compact and requires much less maintenance than regular electric light bulbs.

This new green development is part of a major push started by Chile’s Transportation and Telecommunications Minister Felipe Morandé. In 2011 he announced plans for a multi-million-dollar initiative to build and implement over three thousand solar powered lights for bus stops around the Chilean capital.

Although the project is a major, and expensive, undertaking, the technology is expected to save money over time in addition to promoting sustainable energy. The technology is not cheap to create or install, but the lights will require less upkeep and outside costs, such as electricity to run them, will be all but nonexistent.

This is just the latest in a list of initiatives to create a greener, sustainable and environmentally friendly Chile. Just a couple of years ago the government kick started a new education program,  “Save the earth: the solution is you,” to teach the country’s youth about the importance of recycling and conservation. The aim of the program is to empower Chile’s next generation to make the country and the world a greener, cleaner place for everyone.