El Abra, a Freeport-McMoRan Company, Receives Award for Renewable Energy Project

Dec 6, 2016 9:25 AM ET

December 6, 2016 /3BL Media/ - The El Abra mining operation recently received the National Environmental Award 2016 from the Recyclápolis Foundation for its part in a project that built Chile's first community hybrid power plant.

The Recyclápolis Foundation recognized El Abra for its commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship in funding the power plant, which provides 150 families in the community of Ollagüe in Chile with their first continuous supply of electric power.

The plant combines solar and wind energy with cogeneration, a system that delivers electricity and heat from a single source and is more efficient, less costly and reduces carbon emissions. By using the energy from the plant, the community substantially reduced its dependence on a diesel generator, which lowered consumption of oil by 85 percent.

The inhabitants of Ollagüe, many of whom belong to the indigenous Quechua community, directly participated in the plant's planning and development and were trained in how to use the system, which includes more than 1,600 photovoltaic panels.

Plant construction was completed through a public-private alliance that teamed El Abra, Enel Green Power, the municipality of Ollagüe, the Regional Ministerial Secretariat of Energy, and Universidad de Chile.

The Recyclápolis Foundation was founded in 2012 as a non-profit entity in response to the increasing need for environmental education. The group the established the National Environmental Awards in 2014 to recognize institutions committed to sustainability.

To learn more about how El Abra supports the communities near its operations, please see fcx.com.

Please see the 2015 Working Toward Sustainable Development Report for more information on all of their social, economic and environmental efforts.