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Chile — Assessment of a Wind Energy and Electrification Project

Key Objectives:

To conduct a pre-feasibility study of possible energy sources for the electrification of the remote islands of the Chiloé Archipelago.

Chiloé Archipelago, Chile
Completed in 2005

At the invitation of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP) agreed to collaborate with the Chilean National Energy Commission (CNE) to explore the electrification of the islands in the Chiloé Archipelago.

The Archipelago, consisting of 36 islands, has been given priority by the Chilean Government under its ambitious Rural Electrification Program (REP).

Together with the Government of Chile and UNDP, the GSEP signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining the intent to support activities and projects that promote the principles of sustainable energy development and that contribute to the economic welfare of the beneficiary communities.

Within the framework of this MOU, a team consisting of experts from American Electric Power (AEP, the lead company for the project), Électricité de France (EDF) and Hydro-Québec completed a pre-feasibility study, investigating in detail the installation of wind-diesel hybrid generation systems coupled to local distribution grids for a total of 32 islands, involving approximately 3,700 customers.

The major results of the study are as follows:

  • A global wind map of the archipelago was prepared by EDF, showing wind speed in the region.
  • The results of the pre-feasibility phase of the project indicated that the project does appear to be feasible and financially viable, given the capital subsidy provided under the Chilean REP.
  • Detailed capital and operation and maintenance cost studies for each island have been prepared, clearly indicating the level of investment required to electrify the islands.

By undertaking the pre-feasibility study, the GSEP helped develop a "roadmap" for providing rural electrification to the Chiloé Archipelago with renewable systems and presented its results to CNE.

Download the Chiloé Project Pre-Feasibility Report.

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