Develop a clean, competitive and secure energy matrix for Chile is Fundación Chile’s objective after signing an agreement with Valhalla Energy, who wants to develop a key energetic project based on making non-conventional renewable energy feasible upon securing a constant supply of energy by building a hydraulic pumping station.
“The project Espejo de Tarapacá represents very well the kind of initiatives that we support at Fundación Chile. Here the game rules are broken through innovation, based on simple principles, all of which is promoted by a group of investors and entrepreneurs with conviction and talent”, said Andrés Pesce , manager of the Business and Enterprise department at Fundación Chile.
According to the executive “it is a worldwide cutting-edge project, which will enable the access of solar energy to the north interconnected system, solving in a simple way its low plant factor and also providing basal energy to the SING in a sustainable and competitive way, without the need for subsidies. The Valhalla Energy initiative can turn Chile into global icon of sustainable and competitive energy. Our country cannot afford to lose the opportunity to encouragethese projects“, he added.
Meanwhile, Nicola Borregaard, manager of the Energy and Climate Change department at Fundación Chile, said “as an innovation and entrepreneurship institution we look for projects that can leave a significant print to face the relevant problems that generated by a certain sector. In this case, the essential problems of the energetic scenario are social and environmental viability of the projects, the high price of sector and certainty of the supply. Therefore, Valhalla Energy’s initiative addresses is a good way these three challenges“.
“Espejo de Atacama” will be first hydraulic pumping station in Chile that uses seawater that feeds on solar energy. Even though there is a similar one in Okinawa, Japan, this does not work with solar energy and is only 30 MW, while this project would be 300MW.
The project involves installing a Hydraulic Pumping Central 100 km south of Iquique, which will pump seawater to the top of the coastal headland using solar energy coming from the projects located in various sectors of the Atacama Desert, to accumulate it in natural depressions located at 700 meters high, and then generate electricity during the night by leaving the same water fall through turbines. The investment amounts to USD 330 million, including the transmission line.
Despite the excellent conditions existing in the Atacama Desert for the development of solar projects, these technologies face the great challenge of intermittency, since only generate during the day. Espejo de Tarapacá will be able to solve the intermittency, as it works as a giant battery, making viable a large number of solar energy projects.
For Fundación Chile, the complex energetic scenario requires having an innovative look, therefore, developing reliable sources of energy, at a competitive price and with low impact on the environment and the communities – as is the case of the Espejo de Tarapacá project. This is essential to position Chile as a competitive country not only in the region, but globally.