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Secretary Chu Signs Memorandum of Cooperation with Chilean Energy Minister Tokman

Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The Memorandum establishes an institutional framework between Chile and the United States that will facilitate a broader range of cooperation and exchange activities, including U.S. technical expertise to support operations for Chile’s new Renewable Energy Center.

“Cooperative efforts with partner countries like Chile are critical to strengthening our clean energy future throughout the Americas and addressing the shared challenge of global warming,” said Secretary Chu. “As part of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas, we will continue to work with countries throughout the western hemisphere to find new ways to produce and use energy.”

“The support that the Department of Energy of the United States will give us, especially in establishing the pilot project for our first solar concentration plant and the constitution of the Renewable Energy Center, will allow us to incorporate international best practices and become a reference point within Latin American for these types of energy developments,” said Minister Tokman.

The Memorandum of Cooperation was signed during the official visit of the President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, to the United States. Under the agreement, Chile and the United States will collaborate on high priority energy issues, such as energy efficiency technologies and developing renewable energy sources, including solar, wind, wave, geothermal and biofuels. The Memorandum represents the latest in cooperation and exchange activities between the two countries and will facilitate technical assistance activities, expert visits, information exchanges, internships, capacity-building, etc.

Chile’s Renewable Energy Center, which will be eligible to receive DOE technical support under the Memorandum signed today, will work to identify developments in clean technologies and best practices in renewable energies from around the world. Acting as a “technological antenna,” the Center will gather and disseminate the information to entities within Chile and eventually regionally in order to catalyze the development and implementation of clean energy technologies. The agreement will also support the process of establishing two pilot projects for power generation using solar energy that will be constructed in northern Chile.

The Memorandum of Cooperation was developed as part of the Obama Administration’s Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas, announced by President Obama at the 2009 Summit of the Americas.