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President Piñera inaugurates transmission line that will promote the use of clean energy throughout the country

The President inaugurated the Cardones-Polpaico transmission line, which will strengthen the electric power interconnection of northern Chile and central-southern Chile, benefiting 5.7 million homes that will receive more electricity from clean renewable power plants.

On Thursday, President Sebastián Piñera activated the Cardones-Polpaico transmission line, the most important electric power transport infrastructure to be built in Chile in more than 30 years. The initiative involves an investment of US$1 billion.

"This is a very powerful and very potent benefit for Chilean families who will have less expensive, safer and cleaner energy thanks to this effort", said the President, who appeared in the company of Energy Minister Juan Carlos Jobet, Economy Minister Juan Andrés Fontaine and Regional Governor of Atacama Patricio Urquieta at the Nueva Cardones Substation in Copiapó.

The 753 km-long transmission line project will strengthen the full interconnection of the National Electrical Power Grid, uniting the Northern Electrical Power Grid (SING) and the Central-Southern Grid (SIC). It consists of 1,728 pylons located in 20 municipalities in the regions of Atacama, Coquimbo and Valparaíso along with the Metropolitan Region. 
The goal is to reinforce the national electric power transmission system. One of the main benefits is that approximately 5.7 million homes will receive electricity from renewable energy plants located in the north of the country, especially photovoltaic and wind power installations.

"In terms of energy, we are living a new world. Chile was poor in the energies of the past, but we are immensely rich in the energies of the future", said the President of Chile.

The new transmission line will help further the decarbonization of the energy matrix.

In addition, this will improve the conditions of the electric power market for energy transfer balances between generators and competition in the power generation market, which may cause electricity prices to decrease.

Details of the Cardones-Polpaico transmission line project

The Cardones-Polpaico transmission line was conceived as a single electric line, subdivided into three sections, and includes the construction of three new substations, plus the expansion of four existing stations.

Section 1 is located in the Atacama region, between Copiapó and Huasco, and connects the Nueva Cardones and Nueva Maitencillo substations through a 500 kV double circuit line with a length of approximately 134 kilometers, as well as a 5 km linking line of 220 kV between the Nueva Cardones substation and the existing Cardones substation. This section has been in operation since January 2018.

The second section covers the regions of Atacama and Coquimbo, and runs between the provinces of Huasco and Elqui, and links up the Nueva Maitencillo and Nueva Pan de Azúcar substations through a 500 kV double circuit line of approximately 212 kilometers. It also includes an approximately 1 km long linking line of 220 kV between the Nueva Maitencillo substation and the existing Maitencillo substation. This section began transmitting electric power in April 2018.

For its part, the third section of the new transmission line spans the regions of Coquimbo, Valparaíso and the Metropolitan Region, in a route that passes through the provinces of Elqui, Limarí, Choapa, Petorca, Quillota, Marga Marga and Chacabuco.

The Nueva Pan de Azúcar and Polpaico substations are connected through a 500 kV double circuit line of approximately 408 kilometers in length. It also includes an approximately 23 km 220 kV linking line between the Nueva Pan de Azúcar Substation and the existing Pan de Azúcar Substation. This line began transmitting electric power in May 2019.

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