Espejo de Tarapacá (EdT) – one of the most innovative infrastructure projects in the world – is comprised of a 300 MW pump hydro plant that operates with seawater, located approximately 100 kilometers south of Iquique. This project is essentially a large electricity storage system which will eliminate, at a low cost, the intermittency of non-conventional renewable energy – such as solar energy.
The project takes advantage of the unique geographic characteristics of the Atacama Desert in order to build a pumped storage hydroelectric plant that is almost natural: a site distinguished by a high coastal cliff located close to the ocean which contains natural surface concavities*, making it ideal for the storage of seawater.
The above characteristics minimize the environmental impact and the cost of the plant, which together with the solar energy produced from the best solar irradiation conditions in the world, make EdT a clean and abundant electricity generation alternative, that is cheaper than thermoelectric plants.
*375 hectares insulated from the ground with an impermeable membrane. The site is located at an altitude of 600 meters and possesses capacity equivalent to the volume of 22,000 Olympic pools and area equivalent to 500 soccer fields.