Floating solar or FPV (Floating photovoltaic) is experiencing rapid growth on the renewable energy market for commercial, industrial and utility-type users worldwide.
Chile’s first floating solar project on AngloAmerican’s tailings pond at Los Bronces mine is expected to generate up to 153 MWh of electricity per year to cover part of the site’s energy needs, while also helping to reduce water evaporation at the pond.
The project was developed by Lenergie with the floating technology of Ciel&Terre. C&T has been fully devoted to floating solar PV since 2011, developing the first patented, and industrialized water-based PV concept. For this plant, the French solar group supplied its Hydrelio® technology and also designed the facility’s anchoring system.
According to the release, the anchoring lines’ adapt to a water level variation up to 25 metres.
The solar system is a “perfect mix of technology and innovation to produce energy while protecting the environment,” the release also said. This project will be part of a determined approach to deeply transform the Chilean society (#ChileEnMarcha), with sustainability as a core theme.
A report published in March 2018 by Senageomin highlights the presence of around 740 tailings ponds or dams in the country, also potentially exploitable for floating solar.