GSEP makes project deployment roadmap available for San Cristóbal Island wind park 

April 13, 2018

Today the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP) is making a feasibility study that it has recently conducted available to the public. The study explores the viability of adding more renewables to the San Cristóbal Island wind park in the Galápagos. The report concludes that there is high technical and financial attractiveness for adding solar photovoltaic technology together with battery storage and battery inverter capacity. 

The existing wind park, developed by GSEP under the leadership of American Electric Power (AEP) and RWE, was the first large-scale wind facility in Ecuador. Since its commissioning in 2007, it has reliably supplied approximately 30% of San Cristóbal Island’s electricity needs and reduced the risk of a fuel spill. The project, now fully owned and being operated by the local utility EEPG, has been certified as a Clean Development Mechanism project. Its performance is documented in reports published in 20082013 and 2016

The implementation of this multi-award-winning project has been truly pioneering in many aspects including the use of innovative capital investments through a public-private partnership, the completion of the first environmental impact study in the Galápagos, the implementation of a conservation program to protect the Galápagos petrel (an endangered local bird) and the use of construction methods protecting the local environment and wildlife in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The feasibility study for the expansion of the existing wind park was launched with the goal of furthering the implementation of advanced innovative technologies on the island, such as battery storage, and to help the world community meet the climate goals of the Paris Agreement. GSEP is proud to make it available to institutional and private developers or investors who want to accelerate renewable development in Latin America, using our world-class project as a model for replication.

The feasibility study is available in English and Spanish.

The feasibility study concludes that:

  • There is high technical and financial attractiveness for adding solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. At least 2.5 MWp of solar PV capacity, together with 1.5 MWh of battery storage capacity and around 3 MW of battery inverter capacity for grid management could be viably added in the near term.
  • Implementation of this initial solar-battery plant would require around $6.0 - 6.5 million US in capital expenditure, leading to a reduction in fuel consumption of around 16%, and in turn reducing the levelized cost of electricity on the island by around 9%
  • At the current (subsidized) diesel price, the payback time for this system is estimated to be just over 8 years
  • The wind resource is already fully utilized, so no additional wind capacity is recommended in the near term