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A mining company is putting an island of solar panels to the test in a mining site in Chile.
Anglo American is running the test for one year at its Los Bronces mine. The island of solar panels, or devices that convert sunlight to electricity, floats on a pond. It is 1,200 square meters wide and consists of 256 solar panels.
The company installed the floating island in its effort to reduce carbon dioxide emission. Operating a mining business usually consumes huge amounts of polluting energy. However, the use of solar power minimizes that need as the panels have the capacity to generate about 86 kilowatts of clean energy.
In addition, the floating solar panels are expected to decrease the mine’s water consumption. The island covers the pond from the sun’s heat, which can, in turn, lower the water temperature and reduce evaporation by 80%. More water will be preserved in the process, and this may significantly lessen the usual amount of fresh water used in mining operations.
The Chilean /ˈtʃɪlijən/ government applauds the company’s initiative. Mining Minister Baldo Prokurica considers the solar panel island an excellent idea. He said that it is a good model for the mining industry and hopes that other companies will follow suit.
On another note, Anglo American is open to expanding the use of the solar panel island. If the testing proves successful, the company hopes to cover up to 40 hectares of the pond with solar panels. Moreover, the firm hopes to use similar floating solar panels in its other mining sites.