DRE project developer: Ryse Energy
Funding authority: Government of Chile
Beneficiaries: Los Lagos health care facilities, schools and other critical infrastructure (i.e. telecoms)
Utilising small-wind, solar and energy storage to create bespoke renewable solutions, Ryse Energy a global leader in decentralised renewable energy generation, providing renewable energy to some of the most challenging urban and rural environments.
We design and manufacture small wind turbines and hybridised off-grid solutions, and with more than 4,000 projects to date, decades of experience, and installations across all seven continents, Ryse Energy brings together the best knowledge, talent and technology available in the market today to drive innovative and practical solutions.
Los Lagos region in southern Chile is located between Argentina to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is also a remote and rural location known for its forests, Andean mountains and lakes. Within this region, there are remote island clusters with an estimated population of 2,000 people living without energy and using expensive diesel generators for few hours a day to meet their basic electricity needs. Health care infrastructure across each island was minimal, basic and also disparate, and the communities had little access to mainland facilities. Therefore, DRE was vital in providing decentralised energy across multiple locations. By combining small-wind, solar and energy storage, Ryse Energy designed a small, decentralised solution for 16 islands across the region in order to provide electricity to school and health care facilities across the isolated communities.
In order to enable reliable electricity access for the school and health care facilities within these communities, Ryse Energy had to build and install the mini-grid system from the ground up. It required a completely new electrical installation across multiple buildings and schools on each of the 16 islands.
Each system incorporated:
5 kWp Ryse Energy E-5 wind turbine
3 kWp Solar array
1,000 Ah 48 V Battery Storage
5 kW Inverter
Emergency diesel generator backup
The total cost of the project was EUR 400,000, which was fully funded by the Government of Chile. The system is owned by the Government of Chile. Despite the high efficiency of the system and its low maintenance requirements, a specific challenge that Ryse Energy faced across the multiple islands was the ongoing maintenance of the system due to its remote locations. In order to ensure long-term sustainability, an O&M training was conducted by the Ryse Energy team to the local communities to ensure the resilience and reliability of the system. Community members conducted an intensive one-week training course at Ryse Energy’s manufacturing facility and have ongoing support via phone and online communication channels.
A region of 2,000 people has gained access to electricity through a number of support centres, such as schools and health care facilities. Furthermore, 35 jobs have been created across the 16 islands and it is estimated that the system has helped reduce around 18 tonnes of CO2 per year. The replication potential of the solution is extremely high. The combination of wind, solar and energy storage creates a resilient and reliable system which is able to generate consistent renewable energy to power essential services.
Key success factors were the planning, engineering and results achieved themselves. On the other hand, local logistics to access and install the system correctly were a challenge - yet expected. Because of the remoteness of the islands, they had no machinery available, so all the mechanical installation had to be done by hand.