- More than 50 sheep help maintain the solar plants' grounds in the Maule and Ñuble regions, guaranteeing the plants' performance and generating synergies with the productive activities of surrounding areas.
Santiago, February 2, 2022- Enel Green Power Chile, the country's main generator of renewable energy, together with the multinational IM2 Solar Chile, a leading company in Small Means of Distributed Generation (PMGD), began to apply the solar grazing method as a natural grass maintenance system. The system was used in two of its photovoltaic projects in operation, out of 10 currently under development. The latter are part of an agreement signed by both companies and will reach 76 MW of renewable installed capacity.
The first photovoltaic plants to implement this methodology are Dadinco, located in the Ñuble region, and San Camilo, located in the Maule region. The method uses more than 50 free-range sheep in each location to control grass growth naturally and effectively, in line with both companies' sustainability strategies.
Thanks to the sheep's action, it is possible to limit the growth of grass that could affect the solar panels' proper functioning and performance, avoiding shadows and preventing potential fires caused by dry vegetation. In addition, the use of traditional mechanical grass cutters, which mainly use fossil fuels, is eliminated. On the other hand, this activity creates value both for the plants and neighboring communities, aligning itself with the circular economy's pillar of shared use, which, in this case, is the land where both plants are located.
“This method is relevant because of its efficiency regarding our plants' operation. It also responds to the efforts and work developed by Enel Green Power Chile to incorporate innovative measures and initiatives that are in line with the implementation of the circular economy in all its operations and contribute to climate action," said Andrés Assar, Renewable Business Development Coordinator of Enel Green Power Chile.
Studies show that integrating solar energy and grazing as a method of vegetation control can reduce a large part of the greenhouse gas emissions generated by traditional maintenance management. Thus, avoiding fossil fuels and reducing the rate of methane emissions due to the grass' natural decomposition process.
“With Enel Green Power, we are constantly searching to maintain plants sustainably. We firmly believe that this system can be applied by decreasing human intervention and combining economic and environmental objectives without any problem”, said Pablo Maestri, IM2 Solar Chile CEO.
About IM2 Solar
It is a multinational company born in Spain in 2003, and in LATAM in 2014, by the hand of a Chilean partner, Pablo Maestri. Dedicated to the engineering, development, construction, operation and maintenance of photovoltaic solar energy projects. They work with a team of young professionals, who are in constant research and development to realize the best turnkey projects. They are leaders in the PMGD segment and continuously establish the best alliances to continue exploring new technologies, such as Green Hydrogen and all the solutions that allow for a cleaner planet.
The IM2 Solar Group also has three complementary companies, Greentech, Solargia and Turbo Energy, which are dedicated to the maintenance and washing of the plants. They are entering the Latin American markets of Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Bolivia.
About EGP Chile:
Enel Green Power Chile is the country's leading generator of non-conventional renewable energy through the operation of a diversified technological portfolio that includes wind, photovoltaic, hydro and geothermal energy. Its portfolio consists of 24 plants with a combined installed capacity exceeding 1.8 GW of clean energy, divided into 14 solar, 7 wind, 2 hydro and the first geothermal operation in Latin America, with the Cerro Pabellón project, located in the Atacama Desert in the Antofagasta region.