500rpm: Presenting the “Rural Development with Wind Energy Program” in Patagonia (Informe en Espanol)

A project to teach and illuminate. Recovery of energy systems of rural schools in Patagonia with wind energy

2019 has been an incredibly creative year for 500rpm with multiple rural electrification projects, awards and collaborations. What is more impressive is their recent decision to create synergies between the multiple projects they are running in rural Patagonia -among them a UNDP funded project- by joining them into a “Program for Rural Development with Wind Energy” (Programa de Desarrollo Rural con Energía Eólica (PDREE)).

As stated in the program’s report: “The decision to shape this program was due to a strategic response of our organization to the multiple ongoing and coming projects in the same geographical area, with a view to increasing synergy between projects and activities in terms of maximization of scope and results. The central element that gives rise to this process is the following: the need for access to electrification in the rural world are legitimate and widespread in the rural population of the Patagonian steppe, and the answers (for educational, residential and productive uses) that we are co-building with the Argentinean Wind Energy Association (AAEE) and 500RPM together with various local actors are being legitimized and demanded.”

The Program for Rural Development with Wind Energy 2019-2020 Chubut-Río Negro

According to the program’s first report, 500RPM will be carrying out activities in four lines of work:

1) training in manufacturing, installation, operation and maintenance of the Piggott wind turbine and theoretical training on its design and operation; 2) electrification of rural schools, through the combination of wind generation with existing diesel systems in rural schools and school villages; 3) technology development and implementation of productive uses of wind energy (pumping and irrigation systems, battery charging center for ovicultural producers) and electronic development of efficiency system; 4) research, aimed at identifying the productive uses of low power wind energy in small rural economies, the problems of access to electric power and survey of energy needs in rural settlers of the Patagonian steppe.

Τhe following activities are planned: wind turbine manufacturing in Cholila, El Bolsón, Esquel, and facilities in Costa del Lepá, Piedra Parada, Ranquil Huao, Esquel and Aldea Epulef. Installation of three water pumping systems with wind energy, one in Costa del Lepá for productive purposes, another for demonstration purposes in Esquel, the third for human consumption in the rural school of Piedra Parada; installation of a battery charging center (wind) for a cooperative group of sheep producers in Corralito, Río Negro; formation of a local technical maintenance group; development of a Local Multiplication Pole in Cholila.

“We work together with: Cholila Agrotechnical Educational Center (Patagonian Crusade), Automatic Control Laboratory (National University of San Luis), INTA Esquel, C.F.I. Don Bosco de Bariloche (Association of Salesian Ladies), and C.C.T. No. 7 of El Bolsón. The program has the endorsement of the Ministry of Education of the province of Chubut, of the Ministry of Energy of the Nation – PERMER- program, and the Wind Empowerment network globally.

The 2019-2020 PDREΕ is funded by: United Nations Development Program (UNDP) – TRAC 2019 Funds (hybrid diesel-wind systems in rural schools); WISIONS of sustainability -SEPS 2017 (research: identification of productive uses of low power wind and pumping system); Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) – HAC 2018 (research and development: access to water and development of pumping system without batteries); Ministry of Education of the Nation – Adding Value 2018 (hybrid diesel-wind systems in rural schools); Banco Galicia and Fundación Willimas – Environmental Conservation Fund (FOCA) 2019 (hybrid diesel-wind systems in rural schools).”

Puede leer más en el informe del programa en español.

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