PV installation triggers border dispute between Chile and Argentina

Argentina Cape Espiritu Santo

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From pv magazine Latam

The installation last April of a small photovoltaic array at an Argentine military base in Patagonia has brought about a small diplomatic incident with Chile, in which the country's president himself, Gabriel Boric, complained that the panels were placed “in Chilean territory.”

As reported by pv magazine Latam, the 18 solar panels with a total capacity of 9.9 kW were installed at the Argentine Navy's Maritime Traffic Surveillance and Control Post Hito 1 located on Cape Espíritu Santo.

The system, described as the “southernmost in Argentina,” was developed by TotalEnergies, the Mirgor Foundation, Wintershall Dea and Panamerican Energy. It also included the installation of two housing modules used as shelter by the personnel assigned to the detachment.

Talks between the two countries began last week about the location of the facility, apparently about three meters inside Chilean territory. In this regard, Argentine's ambassador to Chile, Jorge Faurie, said: “It is not such an impressive work, some installed solar panels, but they did not check carefully what the coordinates were that marked the limit. The company that installed the solar panels is the one that donated the panels.”

Although it seems that the dismantling and re-establishment of the system on Argentine soil was already in progress, President Boric's statements, while not signifying a major conflict, did not fail to attract attention.

“We learned some time ago that Argentina, when installing a military base in the Patagonia region, installed solar panels in Chilean territory. We received an apology from the Argentine Foreign Ministry, but I would like to tell you very clearly that borders are not something with which there can be ambiguities and that it is a basic principle of respect between countries and that therefore they must withdraw those solar panels as soon as possible or we are going to do it ourselves,” Boric said.

From what is known so far, Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs Diana Mondino and Minister of Defense Luis Petri have assured that the solar panels will be removed “in the coming days.”

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