Sep 15, 2021
Hortifrut has always stood out for its ability to innovate in the different areas that influence its mission of delivering the best berries every day of the year, and takes very seriously its role of being the largest B certified chilean company in the agri-food industry, one of the sectors that have been most affected by the global drought and that has had to take measures to face the crisis by taking care of resources to protect the environment.
That is why since 2019 the company has set itself the main objective of promoting the use of renewable energies by making production more efficient in its different facilities. This is how, together with the experience of Solarity, the development of the photovoltaic project began to generate a perspective change regarding the use of renewable energy for the electricity consumption of the farms and production plants of Hortifrut. Solarity, a company specializing in the delivery of clean energy, advised Hortifrut on the project that today has fourteen operating photovoltaic plants out of a total of eighteen, but with the clear conviction of having 100% working by December 2021. The total project will generate 2.5 MW (megawatts) per year and will allow to replace at least 50% of the energy used in the farms and production plants.
What began as a project, was materialized as of September 2020, when the first largest floating photovoltaic solar plant in Chile was inaugurated, in the V region of Valparaíso, becoming the first with these characteristics in the country connected to the electricity grid. This floatimg plant is composed of 456 panels of 335Wp each, and has an estimated power generation of 250,868 kWh per year. “This has been one of the most important milestones for the industry, sustainability consciousness and for the communities. We will continue working to reduce the annual percentage of traditional energy consumed in the farms and thus replace it with clean energy, also reducing CO2 emissions to the environment ”, highlights María Elena Echenique, Manager of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability at Hortifrut.
Today, with fourteen operating plants throughout the country, positive calculations are obtained. The initiative has contributed to reducing 689 tons of CO2 emissions to the environment, generating 1,990,526 [kWh] of energy, which can translate into an equivalent of 3,583 illuminated houses and 17,660 planted trees. For the company, the goal is to replace at least 50% of the energy used in their farms and production plants. In this way, Hortifrut maintains its commitment to the environment and communities, ensuring progress in the development and implementation of renewable energy in its operations throughout the country.
This project, proudly started in Chile, seeks to be the starting point for future initiatives of a similar nature in the rest of the region, only then will it be possible to generate the long-awaited change that the agri-food industry needs to produce and provide the best service.