ACCIONA donates the first grid-connected solar PV plant in Easter Island

ACCIONA has built and donated the first solar PV power plant installed in Easter Island

Energy company ACCIONA announced it has donated the first grid-connected solar PV power plant installed in Easter Island. This facility will supply 200 MWh to the Chilean island’s electricity grid.

According to the company’s website, this donation will contribute to “creating a sustainable electric system for this island, which currently generates all the electricity it consumes from diesel fuel”.

This solar PV power plant has been operative in Easter Island for months. Designed and built by Acciona, this facility has 400 solar panels made of polycrystalline silicon installed on ten fixed structures with a peak capacity of 128 kilovolts (kV).

According to ACCIONA, this system is complemented by an inverter that converts the DC electricity generated into AC; a transformer that raises the output voltage from 0.42 kilovolts to 13.2 kV; and a 100-meter-long powerline that carries the electricity to the Mataveri substation to inject it into the grid.

Generating approximately 200 MWh a year, this power plant would prevent the emission of about 135 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. Moreover, it would save up to 8 percent of the diesel used for power generation in the island.

The structure is currently operated by electricity company SASIPA, a subsidiary of CORFO that supplies electricity and drinking water to the island.

Installing a solar PV power plant in Easter Island

The only solar PV power plant in Easter Island was donated in an event attended by the company’s directives and Chilean authorities. The ceremony was held at the complex, located in the Southeast region of the island, near the airport.

Energy Minister Susana Jimenez declared that “it is an especially relevant matter for the Rapa Nui community,  because changing the energy matrix towards sustainable sources not only contributes to reducing greenhouse gases, it is also a way of conserving the island and its people and culture.”

Acciona CEO for South America Jose Ignacio Escobar also celebrated this donation.

“This small facility represents a very important symbolic step forward in the necessary transition of Easter Island to a clean and sustainable energy system. We are very pleased to be starting this process, cooperating with the Chilean Government and the Rapa Nui community to provide solutions based on renewable energies, which are ideal for enclaves like this because they make use of local resources and show great care for its valuable natural and cultural heritage,” he stated.

Acciona in Chile

Easter Island is one of the most historical and culturally relevant sites in Chile. It covers a surface of 163.6 square kilometers, with a population of around 5,000, mainly concentrated in Hanga Roa.

40 percent of its territory is comprised by the Rapa Nui National Park, which was designated as a UN World Heritage Site in 1995. It is home to the famous Moai statues, large stone statues that are considered as one of the world’s most important archeological discoveries.

The donation of this solar PV power plant is part of Acciona’s efforts in Chile.

The company has committed to the development of renewable energies in this South American nation, which is why it has installed a 246-MWp PV solar plant in Atacama (the largest solar power plant in Latin America at the time it was commissioned). It also built a 45-MW wind farm in Coquimbo.

Currently, the company is building a 183-MW wind farm in Araucanía, as well as another wind project, which is in the construction phase, and two solar projects set to be built in 2019.

For more information, check Energía16

See also: After 14 years, Argentina to resume natural gas exports to Chile

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