Enel Green Power Chile and Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) have installed the PB3 PowerBuoy wave energy converter off the coast of Las Cruces in the Valparaiso region of the South American country.
Enel said that the marine energy generator is the first of its kind installed in Latin America.
OPT supplied the PB3 PowerBuoy, which has been installed 1.2km from the coast of the Coastal Marine Research Station.
Enel said the system is able to convert wave energy into electricity that is stored in a 50 kilowatt-hour battery system located inside the PB3 PowerBuoy, which feeds the different oceanographic sensors that monitor the marine environment.
“The information obtained from this device will allow us to learn about the behaviour of the waves, optimise the resource, and thus lead the investigation of this type of renewable energy in the country and in the world,” the company added.
Enel Chile general manager Paolo Pallotti said: “We want to explore all the alternatives to accelerate the energy transition and achieve carbon neutrality as soon as possible.
“This is why we were the first to promote the development of wind and solar energy in Chile, in the same way that last year we announced our participation in the first pilot project to produce green hydrogen in Chile.
“Today we want to promote the generation of electricity from renewable energy from the movement of the ocean and sea.”
The system is the first milestone for the potential development and growth of marine energy in Chile, as part of an innovation project called Open Sea Lab carried out by Meric, a centre of excellence for marine energy in Latin America.
Meric was co-founded by Enel Green Power Chile and Naval Energies, a European company specialised in marine energy technologies.
Meric board chair James Lee Stancampiano said: “This type of energy production has several advantages: it is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, it is silent, and it is not located in populated areas.
“This country has excellent conditions in terms of marine resources to produce wave energy. The installation of this device represents great progress on the path towards the development of renewable energies in Chile.”