Anglo American’s initiative, a floating solar plant, consists of 256 photovoltaic panels (330 watts each), located on a floating island, with the capacity to generate 86 kilowatts per hours (kWh) altogether. The project will also reduce CO2 emissions by 58 tons per year, generate renewable electricity of 150,000 kWh/year, and reduce evaporation of water over the area it covers by 80%.
The pioneer plant in Chile comes as a solution to efficiently use water in the face of shortages in the central zone of the country, where the Los Bronces mine of Anglo American is located. The objective is to reduce the evaporation of water on the surface of Las Tortolas in order to increase the availability for recirculation in the mining process.
Today, Los Bronces recirculates between 70% and 80% of the process water, which allows it to supply 45% of the total required for the operation.
During the year, the results from the plant will be monitored in order to extend this pilot to a larger plant. Its success will depend on the correct interaction between the island and the tailings dam.