Last year the Green Machine advised CAP SA of Santiago Chile on their optimal supply chain for electric power. CAP is the leading Chilean Iron Ore mining house as well as the leading Steel producer in Chile and they need vast amounts of electricity for their operations.
The project ended for the Green Machine in January this year when CAP entered into an electric power purchase agreement with Sun Edison of the USA for the power output from a 100 megawatt PV solar farm that is to be built in the Atacama Desert region of Chile near a town called Copiapo . The solar incidence is so high in this desert that the yearly output of the solar farm will be 270,000 megawatt hours. This is 270 million kilowatt hours is enough power to charge the 85 kilowatt hour Tesla Model S from empty to full over 3 million times a year. The World Bank will provide some of the funds to this project.
The project will save Chile the equivalent carbon emissions of taking over 30,000 cars off the roads in that country. The project is the largest PV project ever in Latin America and one of the largest in the world. The output per unit of PV module is probably the highest on the planet as the Atacama desert is the one place on God’s green earth where there is 500 years of recorded history of no rain ever falling. Copiapo makes Phoenix Arizona look like a garden spot.
The economics of this solar farm are real and provide meaningful operating cost savings to CAP who otherwise would have had to generate power using diesel power sets as Chile has very limited coal and natural gas resources and has absolutely none of these resources in this northern region of the country. The project made economic, thermodynamic, and ecologic sense.