US solar energy company SunPower has signed a power purchase agreement with Total to deliver 300GW hours per year of clean energy to the Metro of Santiago in Chile.
The metro currently handles 2.2 million passengers every day and will become the world’s first public transportation system to operate primarily on solar energy.
Total’s new energies division business and operations senior vice-president Bernard Clement said: "This contract is expressing Chile’s commitment for a sustainable world.
"We are proud to partner with Metro in developing a new way of powering public transportation systems through competitive, reliable and clean energy. This project supports our ambition to become the responsible energy major."
The Metro will receive its power from a 100MW El Pelicano Solar (AC) Project near the municipalities of La Higuera in the Coquimbo Region and Vallenar in the Atacama Region.
Construction is expected to commence this year and be operational by the end of next year.
SunPower Global Power Plants executive vice-president Eduardo Medina said: "SunPower is proud to serve Metro of Santiago’s growing energy demand with cost-competitive, renewable solar power.
"Solar is an ideal energy source for Chile because of the country’s high solar resource and transparent energy policies. In partnership with Total, SunPower is committed to the continued growth of our business in Chile."
Image: Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet announcing the introduction of the world’s first solar-operated metro. Photo: courtesy of PRNewsFoto / SunPower Corp.