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Acciona has signed a contract to supply 100% renewable electricity to the two main facilities of LATAM Airlines Group, the biggest airline group in Latin America, from September this year.
Through the contract, LATAM's facilities at Arturo Merino Benítez Airport in Santiago de Chile, which include its corporate offices and the operation and maintenance base for its aircraft fleet, will be supplied with energy generated by renewable installations owned by Acciona.
These installations include the 246 MWp El Romero Solar photovoltaic plant in the Atacama Desert and the 45 MW Punta Palmeras wind farm in the region of Coquimbo.
Acciona is currently building a second wind farm (San Gabriel, with a capacity of 183 MW) in La Araucanía, and over the next year will begin construction work on the Almeyda and Usya photovoltaic plants in the regions of Atacama and Antofagasta, respectively, and the Tolpán wind farm in La Araucanía.
The output of this portfolio is projected to cover 80% of LATAM's consumption in Chile and will allow the airline to avoid the emission of 5,850 tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere per year, producing the same air cleaning effect as that of 292,500 trees through photosynthesis.
LATAM serves 70 million passengers a year and connects 143 destinations around the world.
This follows a similar announcement last week that Sydney Airport, the busiest in Australia, is to be powered by renewable energy. The operating company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Origin Energy and Grassroots Renewable Energy that will see 75% of its current electricity load supplied by the 135 MW Crudine Ridge wind farm, which is scheduled to come online in late 2019.
These radical developments put the aviation sector at the forefront of the global transformation to sustainable energy usage and prove that there is no shortage in demand for renewable power.