Chile Goes Solar

Chile is joining the world of solar power innovation as it begins to push forward in its plan to create the tallest solar tower in the world. This tower, called Atacama 1, will stand at 200 meters tall and continuously generate up to 110 megawatts. Here is an excerpt from the story: 

Hopes are high for the solar energy project.

According to the Latin America Post, Atacama 1 is expected to be the largest solar plant running on a single tower in the world. In addition, its turbines will be powered by another natural resource -- locally mined salt.

"The sun and the salt are from Chile. This is one of our selling points - that we provide a stable supply using local resources. This plant is not dependent on imports so there is more security against global price fluctuations and international crises," Business Development Manager Roberto Herrera of Spanish company Abengoa, owner of Atacama 1, stated via the Guardian.

"The marginal costs in Chile are the lowest of any of our power plants ... When it is built, we'll only need 50 maintenance staff ... The cost is already at the same level as gas - $120 per megawatt hour - and the idea is for it to fall as the technology improves," he added.

According to the Washington Post, companies investing in solar and wind installations are skyrocketing this year. United States and China are two countries with numerous installations already.

In fact, countries in developing regions such as Africa and Latin America aren't exempt from the green trend since they are investing in solar energy as well.

Despite the industry's chief competitors' (coal and natural gas) low prices, the aforementioned countries have taken faith in green energy.

While Spanish company Abengoa plays a big role in Chile's solar power shift, Google's upcoming plans will also contribute greatly to the country's green future. The giant global tech company is reportedly planning on building its first Latin American data center in Chile, with its Quilicura headquarters expected to be fully-powered with solar energy come 2017.

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