UQ graduate leading energy transition in large Chilean company

6 August 2020

In July 2019, Felipe Hodar graduated with University of Queensland's Master's Degree in Sustainable Energy. He is now working as a Business Development Manager at Gasco, one of Chile's large energy companies.

Felipe had previously worked with Gasco, and this job was created for him based on his newly acquired skills and expertise within sustainable energy. 

We enjoy keeping up with our graduates and their careers, so we asked Felipe to share what projects he is working on at the moment. Here is what he told us:

UQ Master of Sustainable Energy graduate Felipe is involved in a number of energy transition projects across Chile.

"I´m leading the energy transition in the company and a lot of work is going on here. We are promoting different projects across all areas related to renewables. Here are some of them:

  • We are promoting solar projects across Chile in different industries (agriculture, hospitals, educational, etc). In this sector, we are developing projects based on net billing regulation (projects up to 300kW). We are promoting the ESCO (Energy Service Company) business model. In this case, 100% of the investment is provided by our company, allowing access to solar projects to everyone, selling the electricity generated at a lower tariff than the electricity system (grid), ensuring saving for our clients.
  • On a large scale, we are developing a utility-scale project in the north of Chile (150MW of solar + BESS), which is one of the best places in the world for a solar project. We have our FID (Financial Investment Decision) this semester to start construction next year.
  • We are developing some pilot projects related to:
    • Battery Storage: We are developing our first hybrid system (Solar PV + BESS + LPG Generators + Grid). The project considers a 500 kW size battery with 1MWh of energy storage.
    • Floating Solar: We are developing our first floating solar project in the south of Chile. Integrating LPG generators with floating solar in the aquaculture sector, working together with Swimsol.
    • Agri PV: We are doing a partnership with Fraunhofer (a German Research Institute) to develop the first agri PV project in Santiago. Allowing farmers a cost-effective combination, optimizing the land use for electricity generation and crops.
  • We are undertaking a district energy initiative. We are on a feasibility stage to develop a district energy system in the south of Chile, ensuring heating with low emission systems to one of the coldest areas in the country. 

These are some of the projects that I´m involved in, and it is very exciting to be part of such a big transition using the knowledge and expertise from my master's degree and my previous experience."

Read more about the UQ Master of Sustainable Energy