Cities continue to show swift progress and leadership towards large-scale adoption of renewable energy technologies even as some countries continue to deny the very need of sustainable growth.

Chile’s Santiago metro system will soon source as much as 60% of its energy requirement from renewable energy sources. The metro system, which serves 2.4 million people every day, will acquire 42% of its energy needs from a solar power project while an additional 18% will come from a wind energy project. Both projects are located in the Atacama Desert.

Metro de Santiago has signed 15-year power purchase agreements with 100 megawatt El Pelícano solar power project developed by California-based SunPower Corp and Total. The project is expected to supply 300 GWh of electricity to Metro de Santiago every year. A wind energy project located to the north of the SunPower solar project will also supply electricity to the metro system.

Long-term renewable energy PPAs not only provide low-cost and escalation-free electricity for Metro de Santiago but are also a boon to the project developers like SunPower in a highly competitive and developing market like Chile.

Solar power project developers in Chile had been struggling due to the sudden increase in capacity and constrained transmission infrastructure. Several developers were even forced to sell electricity for free after copper mines in the Atacama Desert shut during the recent phase of low demand globally.

Cities across the world are increasingly switching to renewable energy to power their metro systems. Different metro systems in India have already set up rooftop solar power systems or are planning to do so. Like Metro de Santiago, Delhi Metro has also entered in long-term power purchase agreement to source more than 200 megawatts of solar power capacity from one of the cheapest solar power projects in India.

Image Credit: Ariel Cruz Pizarro | CC-BY-SA 2.0

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