Community and Environment
Environmental impact assessment
Archaeological and cultural heritage
Planta Solar San Pedro III has established agreements with the authorities of Calama and the indigenous communities of the Alto El Loa area, complying with the highest environmental and social standards such as the principles of Ecuador and IFC performance standards. In addition, the solar plant contributes in the transformation of the city of Calama towards a “solar city”, fostering the development of other northern cities in Chile. The solar park provides competitive and clean energy to the mining sector, one of the biggest energy consumer industries in Chile.
The mining industry in northern Chile has a high energy requirement for its operation. In the past, Chile relied mostly on fossil fuels for power generation, which had to be imported from other countries. As Planta Solar San Pedro III is located in the northern region, where it has one of the highest solar radiation worldwide, the country has now the opportunity of exploiting solar energy in its northern region. Planta Solar San Pedro III was approved by the Environmental Impact Assessment process in 2012, a technical tool that identifies, predicts, and analyzes impacts on the physical environment, as well as social, cultural, and health impacts.
To avoid the collision and the electrocution of birds on the electric structures of the solar park, isolation devices have been installed on the towers and cables of the high voltage transmission line. These devices avoid the impact of the birds with the high voltage cables.
During the construction phase, archaeologists have verified the suitability of the land for construction with regards on Chile’s archeological and cultural heritage preservation. In addition, construction workers have been instructed on legal regulations, the type of site observed in the area and the procedures to be followed in case of an archaeological finding.