The Coquimbo region, in the arid region of northern Chile, just opened the first solar plant for the mining sector in the area. The goal is to end all power supply issues that have been affecting the work in a region that is the world’s number one in copper production.
The country’s Energy minister, Jorge Bunster, officially opened the solar facility last Friday (13). From now on, the structure – the first fully integrated photovoltaic plant in the Chilean electricity system – will supply power to the private gold company Minera Dayton, the main firm operating in the area, states the site Mining.
According to the forecasts, the plant, which was developed by the French solar energy supplier SolaireDirect in collaboration with Minera Dayton, is expected to supply 1.26 MW to an area of 1.9 hectares.
The decision of building such a structure was based on the warnings made by experts over the past two years. These experts assured the South American nation couldn’t be able to keep mining without a solution to its energy needs. Currently, 90 percent of the electricity generated in the north of Chile is consumed by the mining sector.
This solar plant is the first step to improve the mining conditions in the country, but it’s estimated the nation will need to add between 6,000 and 8,000 megawatts to the supply offer in the next eight years on order to keep producing at the current levels.