As every country is trying to reduce the carbon emissions and adopt a greener way of life, news of latest records in the domain of green energy keep popping every day. Albeit being a highly unlikely target for the application of solar power, the Santiago subway is set to become the first solar-powered subway of the world.
The government of Chile is aiming to shift the 64-mile long subway system, comprising of 108 stops onto the solar power. Chile is one of the leading countries fulfilling most of their energy needs via the renewable energy sources.
Chile is considered as one of the sunniest places on the Earth. In fact, a 100MW solar power plant installed on the outskirts of the Atacama Desert will drive the subway system. The solar power plant is 400 miles away from Santiago. The subway system is used by more than 2.5 million commuters daily. While the subway system will mostly be driven by the solar energy, almost 18 percent of the power will be delivered via the wind energy systems.
Calfornia-based enterprise named SunPower has been hired to set up the solar plant. The company aims to use low-cost modular solar panels that are not only cost-effective but also need a low maintenance time. In order to keep the solar panels in their optimum working condition, the company will employ customized robots to clean up the desert dust from the panels.
The company is already involved in a massive project with Ford to supply clean energy to the EV owners. The Santiago’s subway system will not tap into the main grid; rather it will be powered via a dedicated direct line straight from the power plant.
Sounds like a great new alternative energy project, isn’t it?