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World's first green air traffic control station to open in Chile

InvestChile - March,21,2024

The station, located in northern Chile, will be used by the civil aviation authority, DGAC, and will be powered by 340 solar panels and adjacent batteries placed beneath the region’s abundant sunlight.

avion aeropuerto

The French company Thales intends to open the world's first air traffic control station to be fully powered by renewable energy in northern Chile’s Atacama Desert this April. It is also interested in developing renewable projects in other areas without power grids, a senior executive told the Diario Financiero.

The station, located in the city of Calama, will be used by the civil aviation authority, DGAC, and will be powered by 340 solar panels and adjacent batteries placed beneath the area's abundant sunlight.

A pioneering initiative on a global level

«Our team in Brazil had already been working on technological developments based on alternative energy sources for several years, so we decided to rise to this challenge,» said Luciano Macaferri, Country Director for Thales in Brazil during an interview.

«No one had ever made a 100% off-grid radar,» he added.

The radars that will be used for aviation control consume around one megawatt of energy per hour.

The project contract was signed in 2021 after the DGAC issued a request for air traffic control proposals in the desert region, Macaferri said.

«We had to build two bridges to get the team there,» he said. «And, as we were preparing the site, we found some archaeological artifacts. So we got in touch with local indigenous groups and they demarcated part of the area.»

The Thales company is now interested in building similar projects elsewhere, also using other sources such as wind and hydropower.

«This has been a first example. In the end, it took place outside of Brazil, but there are already many airports interested in reducing their carbon footprint with renewables,» said Macaferri.

According to a report by Our World In Data, Chile has not only positioned itself among the countries that have the highest solar energy consumption, but is also ranked first globally in the use of this renewable energy.

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Topics: Infrastructure- Energy- Renewable energy



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