German climate delegate Jennifer Morgan visited the Fraunhofer PV Floating project in Chile
On the way to finding solutions to protect water and benefit small farming communities, the Secretary of State and Delegate for Climate Action of the German Foreign Ministry, Jennifer Morgan, visited Fraunhofer Chile's Floating Photovoltaic pilot plant in Paine last Saturday. This successful project is financed by FIC-R of the Metropolitan Regional Government, and the visit is part of the agenda of activities of the Secretary of State, together with the German Ambassador to Chile, Irmgard Maria Fellner.
During the visit, they spoke with the Executive Director of Fraunhofer Chile, Dr. Frank Dinter, and with the representatives of the Canal Hospital community, María Cristina Pino and Juan Carlos Vásquez, to learn about the scope of this R&D project that benefits 1,600 families of small farmers in the commune of Paine. "In this project we wanted to contribute to the autonomy and energy sustainability of the Canal Hospital community and, at the same time, investigate the benefits that this technology can bring by protecting bodies of water," explained Frank Dinter.
At the site, the delegation was able to appreciate the impact generated by this type of plant, as well as the benefits that solar technologies can bring to the most vulnerable sectors, both socially and productively.
"What I heard today from the community leaders is that this project is of great importance. It is clean, and it protects water for agriculture, and their dream is to make it grow. These are the kind of projects that the German government wants to support, projects like this one from Fraunhofer Chile, that bring the benefits of solar energy to small communities as well," said Jennifer Morgan.
Mitigation and protection
Chile is highly vulnerable to the consequences of climate change, with agriculture being one of the sectors most affected. The project - led by research engineer David Jung - aims to support small farmers in adapting to climate change by means of a floating photovoltaic (PV) system capable of generating electricity without conflict over agricultural land use, while protecting water from evaporation through the shading provided by the panels.
The initiative funded by the FIC-R Metropolitano under the BIP code: 400026953-0, allowed Fraunhofer Chile to install a PV Floating pilot in the reservoir of the Comunidad de Agua Canal Hospital (CACH) on a surface of 100 m2, and an installed capacity of 15 kWp, being able to generate up to 64.81 kWh/day and 23.6 MWh/year. This electricity generation is worth more than 2 MM CLP annually. The pilot is estimated to protect around 100,000 litres of water - a fact that Fraunhofer Chile is currently validating with scientific measurements.
The project was supported by PUNTO SOLAR, a full-service solar engineering and installation company, CGE and the Asociación Gremial de Riego y Drenaje, AGRYD.