Chile to open first solar neighborhood

A technician works near solar panels in southern France.</p>

A technician works near solar panels in southern France.

Chile's first solar neighborhood is set to debut next week.

One-hundred fourteen families in the borough of Combarbala will save up to 80 percent on gas bills by relying primarily on solar power, reports the Santiago Times.

Each house is oriented northward and the families were trained in energy saving and solar cooking and heating.

Solar panels on each house will heat 16 gallons of water at 113 °F.

The project cost $2.2 million. The families contributed $90,000.

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