Inauguration of PV power plant with battery storage at Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa in Chile

Berlin, 24.10.2017, Two innovative German companies have inaugurated a solar power and battery system at Tierra Hotels’ luxury Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa in Chile. The green power plant was developed and delivered by system provider Kraftwerk, with the innovative battery solution from QINOUS allowing the exclusive off-grid desert resort to completely switch off its diesel generators during the day, and even part of the night.

The resort is located in the breathtaking landscape of the Chilean Atacama Desert far from the national electricity networks. It had previously relied on diesel generators for its power supply. In 2013, the photovoltaic (PV) project developer and turnkey installer Kraftwerk designed and installed a PV power plant at the site. Since then the PV system has been operating successfully in concert with the diesel generators, covering up to half of the hotel’s daytime electricity needs and leading to around 15% annual diesel savings.

Shortly after the installation of the PV system, Tierra Hotels was named the “Most Sustainable Tourism Company in Chile” for its use of solar energy and organic architecture.

kraftwerk_qinous_3“One of our core values in Tierra Hotels is the protection of our environment, that’s why we want to provide the best experience and service with minimal disruption,” said Miguel Purcell, the Executive Director of Tierra Hotels. “We’ve saved a significant amount of diesel over the past couple of years and have substantially decreased our carbon footprint. The experience we’ve had with running and maintaining the PV plant has encouraged us to take yet another step forward.”

Tierra Hotels took another big step forward on its sustainability journey in September and October 2017, when Kraftwerk and QINOUS substantially expanded the PV plant and implemented a highly efficient lithium-ion battery storage and smart energy management solution. The system allows the resort to operate 100% on solar PV electricity during 8 – 9 hours of daylight each day, plus a few hours at night.

kraftwerk_qinous_2The new solar power and battery system will deliver diesel savings of up to 60% annually to hotel operator Tierra Hotels, significantly reducing operating costs as well as the hotel’s carbon footprint and air pollution. In addition, the sound of diesel generators is now a thing of the past at the Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa for much of the day and night, significantly enhancing the hotel guests’ experience in the natural environment of the Atacama Desert.

Kraftwerk and QINOUS are convinced the hotel’s new power plant can serve as a model project leading the way for off-grid tourism towards cost-efficient and environmentally friendly electricity generation. “The PV-battery solution for Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa is a very important starting point to turn the entire remote area of San Pedro de Atacama into a green community”, said Kraftwerk’s Founder and Managing Director Karsten Schulte.

“This project is just the beginning of a new era of eco-tourism. It is a win-win situation. The hotel saves energy costs and at the same time protects the environment by saving thousands of tons of CO2 emissions. It actually proves that businesses as well as communities that are not connected to the electricity network do not have to be dependent on diesel generators anymore”, added QINOUS Founder and Managing Director Steffen Heinrich.

kraftwerk_qinousThe expansion of the Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa’s PV plant was selected as a showcase project by the German Energy Agency (dena). The project is part of the worldwide Renewable Energy Solutions (RES) Programme 2015/17, which is coordinated by dena and co-financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) within the German Energy Solutions Initiative.

“Right from the beginning we were very convinced of Kraftwerk´s and Qinous’ approach”, said dena’s Felix Schmid. “We are very happy with the result.”

On October 13, the new solar and storage system was inaugurated at an exclusive event at the Atacama Hotel & Spa, and was attended by the German Ambassador in Chile Dr Rolf Schulze, Dr Karsten Schulte from Kraftwerk, Steffen Heinrich from Qinous, Miguel Purcell from Tierra Hotels, and Felix Schmid from the German Energy Agency (dena).

Press contact: Doreen Rietentiet, Telephone: 030.609819500, dr@dwr-eco.com