Galápagos San Cristóbal Island Wind Park

Key results

  • First large-scale wind park in Ecuador and one of the world’s largest wind-diesel hybrid systems at the time
  • Annually supplies approximately 30% of the island’s electricity needs, complemented by two 6 kW solar PV systems
  • As of 2016, reduced diesel consumption by a cumulative total of 2.3 million gallons, avoided 21,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions and reduced the risk of a fuel spill
  • Registered under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) yielding approximately 11,000 certified emission reduction (CER) credits worth approximately 110,000 USD purchased on the international market
  • Boasts environmental success such as increased hatching and reproduction rates of the endangered Galapagos petrel
  • Recipient of Energy Globe Awards in 2008 and 2017
  • Used as a model to develop the Baltra/Santa Cruz wind park in the Galápagos in 2014, in support of the new Zero Fossil Fuel program on the Islands

GSEP’s wind park on San Cristóbal Island is Ecuador’s longest-operating wind facility and a national pioneer in the use of wind resources. The park’s three 800 kW turbines have provided more than 26 million kWh of energy (as of 2016) to San Cristóbal, the second-largest island in the Galápagos.

Since 2007, the facility has functioned a remarkable 92% of the time. It also includes two 6 kW solar installations that have generated 136,000 kWh electricity, as well as new transmission lines and advanced control systems that allow the hybrid wind-diesel system to work together efficiently.

Developed in the fragile ecosystem of the Galápagos Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage site, we made sure that the park’s construction would not harm the local environment and wildlife. Our environmental management plan included a conservation program to protect the Galápagos petrel, an endangered local bird. Since 2012, hatching and reproduction rates of the petrel have increased on the island.

The park’s five-year development and construction cost 10 million USD, financed with innovative capital investments from the United Nations Foundation and United Nations Development Programme, Ecuadorian taxpayer donations, the government of Ecuador, and Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership companies. To support this project, the national government established new policies to deploy renewable power. It also endorsed a new electricity price tariff based on the costs to generate wind power on the island.

In 2016, we transferred the ownership of the wind park to ELECGALÁPAGOS S.A., the local electricity company. The staff at ELECGALÁPAGOS is thoroughly trained to take full responsibility of the administration, operation and maintenance of the wind farm and associated facilities.

Throughout the park’s development and construction, we have transparently shared our work and solutions to the engineering, environmental and financing challenges that we have faced. This includes a feasibility study released in April 2018 assessing the potential to add further renewables or storage options to San Cristóbal Island. These resources will make it easier for others to replicate the system in the Galápagos, Ecuador and around the world.

The Galápagos San Cristóbal Island wind park has received awards from Power Engineering Magazine (2008), IEEE Spectrum Magazine (2008), World Energy Forum (2008), and Energy Globe (2008 and 2017). The site itself is a destination for tourists visiting the Galápagos Islands.

"This project has been a national pioneer in the use of wind resources and has served as a reference for the development of similar projects both in the Galapagos Islands and in the mainland Ecuador."




  • American Electric Power (AEP)
  • RWE
  • Électricité de France (EDF)
  • Enel
  • Hydro-Québec
  • Ontario Power Generation (OPG)
  • ScottishPower
  • Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy of Ecuador
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • United Nations Foundation
  • San Cristóbal municipality and residents

Uruguay solar and storage project

  • Integrate one of the first photovoltaics coupled with an energy storage battery system to Uruguay’s power grid
  • Create a learning experience for the Uruguayan power utility leading to broader integration of batteries to the grid and increased energy security
  • Increase profitability and competitiveness of Uruguay’s dairy sector

2022 Winner - Energy Globe National Award - UruguayGSEP has launched one of the first project integrating batteries to the national power grid in Uruguay, which consists in the installation of distributed energy resource (DER) systems using photovoltaic panels, batteries and remote monitoring technologies in one typical dairy farm in the Colonia Delta community. The project also includes the installation of solar panels supplying electricity to an additional farm and five public buildings of the community.

As Uruguay has just recently authorized the integration of batteries to the grid, the project aims at creating a learning experience for the Uruguayan power utility (UTE) leading to broader integration of batteries coupled with renewables to the grid and strengthened energy security in the country.

The project also aims at reducing the farm’s operating costs. The electricity required to produce milk is one of the highest costs for farmers today. Based on the billing history of Colonia Delta farms, the proposed DER systems could produce up to 90% of their annual energy consumption and lower energy bills by up to 70%.

One-third of Uruguay’s dairy farms are family-owned, low-production businesses with limited access to investment capital, land and technology, that operate in a highly competitive, international industry. The pilot project aims at leveling the playing field for these smaller family businesses. 

The energy savings created by the integration of these technologies could result in an increased profitability and competitiveness for Uruguay’s agricultural sector, which plays a central role in the country’s economy.

The project is funded by GSEP with expertise from member companies Hydro-Québec and Enel X and realized in collaboration with UTE and the Intendencia de San José.

Read the final report

Solar-Ice Power Plant in Dhiffushi, Maldives

Key results

  • 40 kW grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) system supplies 25% of the demand of Dhiffushi’s population, under the best conditions, and accounts for approximately 5% of the island’s annual energy consumption
  • Successful model for the development of local renewable energy solutions that can be replicated across other islands in the region
  • Winner of a 2017 Energy Globe Award
  • Innovative use of an ice-making machine instead of a conventional battery system for storage that is used to preserve fish, supporting the main economic activity in Dhiffushi
  • Creates fuel savings for fishermen, who no longer need to travel to other islands to buy ice
  • Generates revenue for the Dhiffushi Island Council, which can sell the ice at a profit
  • Supports the Maldives in achieving its Sustainable Development Goals
  • Prevents 52 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually
  • Displaces 19 tonnes of diesel per year, representing approximately 18,000 USD in fuel savings

Combating climate change with local renewable energy solutions is at the heart of our award-winning solar-ice power plant on Dhiffushi Island. We built and installed this 40 kW grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) system in a fishing community in the Maldives. The system supplies 25% of the electricity demand of Dhiffushi’s population under the best conditions, and accounts for approximately 5% of the island’s annual energy consumption.

A unique feature of this project is the installation of an ice-making machine coupled with the PV system. Traditionally, similar PV electrical systems use batteries to absorb and store the excess electricity. In this case, the ice-making machine stores excess solar energy by producing ice when solar energy supplied to the system is greater than the electricity demand. This innovative feature not only provides a solution to the need expressed by Dhiffushi’s residents, but also prevents the creation of unnecessary industrial waste by avoiding the use of conventional batteries. This ice machine uses seawater to produce around 1 tonne of flake ice per day, providing a simple yet sustainable way for local fishermen to preserve fish and save costs, as they no longer need to travel to other islands to purchase expensive ice. By using excess electricity in a productive matter, the project will stimulate Dhiffushi Island’s local economy.

The project won a 2017 Energy Globe Award and is helping the Maldives take immediate action toward building a more sustainable future and implementing its commitments to the Paris Agreement by reducing the island’s fossil fuel consumption and triggering a shift away from imported diesel.

The system was monitored for two years, supporting the State Electric Company Limited (STELCO) to ensure that the necessary skills and know-how were in place to guarantee the project’s long-term performance and sustainability. GSEP designed and implemented a full training program to develop local abilities and skills, increasing local confidence for carrying out other similar projects. A three-day workshop, in addition to on-the-job-training sessions, were completed to train 19 local engineers and operators in basic knowledge of PV components and systems, practical design of PV systems, grid connectivity, construction, operation and maintenance, and editing PV system texts for replicability.

The Dhiffushi Solar-Ice Project can also serve as a model for other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) that want to move away from fossil fuels and jumpstart their national climate action plans. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) aims to increase solar energy development in the region through its Asia Solar Energy Initiative (ASEI), using the Dhiffushi Solar-Ice Project as a model. The project’s replicability stems from the design of the PV system itself. The system was designed to maximize stability with simple control logic, while incurring low costs in order to be easily replicated and deployed to other islands where potential PV output is higher than the load capacity of the local grid. This approach maximizes the percentage of PV energy used without the need to install any special countermeasures.

This bottom-up approach of promoting local renewable energy solutions not only supports the most vulnerable countries, it also builds a cleaner tomorrow for all.

"This project will not only create a momentum for the shift away from full reliance on diesel generation, but also mitigate the shortage of ice demand on Dhiffushi Island, supporting their main economic activity. We are very grateful for the support from GSEP, Kansai and the Government of Japan."


The Dhiffushi Solar Ice Project in The Maldives

Helping a climate-vulnerable nation build a clean energy future.



  • Kansai Electric Power
  • Ministry of Environment and Energy of the Maldives
  • State Electric Company Limited (STELCO)
  • Dhiffushi Island Council
  • Government of Japan
  • Asian Development Bank

Solar Lamp Program

Key Results

  • 61,238 solar lamps provided to off-grid rural communities in eight countries around the world
  • Improved day-to-day quality of life of recipients by providing a cleaner source of lighting, facilitating education, enhancing personal safety, and improving indoor air quality

Together with the Global BrightLight Foundation, we provided over 60,000 solar lamps to off-grid households in eight countries around the world.

Without access to a reliable and affordable source of energy, remote communities are the most prone to poverty and low-quality living conditions. Off-grid solutions are sometimes the most efficient way to give them access to clean energy. Priced comparatively to similar kerosene lanterns, we provided the solar lamps to the communities through a pay-as-you-go program to ensure that the beneficiaries take ownership and responsibility for the lamps and their care.

Replacing kerosene, candles or – in some cases – animal waste with clean solar lamps improves indoor air quality, facilitates greater access to education, enhances personal safety and enriches the quality of life of these communities. The simple provision of solar light will generate social, educational, and economic opportunities that many currently lack.

"We are very happy with the lamp. It is very useful for us at home. The lamp works very well and can keep a charge for two days in a row. This lamp is very important for us! Thank you for this excellent service!"


  • All members
  • Global BrightLight Foundation
  • Various local NGOs

W Regional Park Solar Energy System

Key results

  • Contributed to the preservation of the W Regional Park, part of the W-Arly-Pendjari Complex, the largest natural reserve in Western Africa and a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve
  • Solar power systems installed in villages, dispensaries, and ranger stations within the park, as well as solar water pumping stations in the core area of the park
  • Heralded as a strong example of cooperation between states and international agencies

In 2003, we commissioned a pilot renewable energy system in the W Regional Park. The park is part of the W-Arly-Pendjari Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve and the largest natural reserve in Western Africa. We conducted the project in close collaboration with the three host countries – Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger – as well as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Union (EU).

We constructed different renewable energy supply systems that promoted the conservation of biodiversity in the core area of the park and fought desertification, while fulfilling the basic needs of the populations living in the buffer and transition zones around the park.  The following systems were commissioned in 2003:

  • At Perelegou Pond, in Niger, in the core area of the park, we installed two small dams and a solar water pump. This resulted in consistent water levels at the pond, which has helped develop a new ecosystem and increased the presence of fish, crocodiles, birds, and mammals
  • We installed solar panels at the park rangers’ station to provide lighting and radio communications. A reliable system to supply safe drinking water year-round was also installed, allowing the station to remain operational on an ongoing basis, thus limiting poaching and encouraging ecotourism
  • We installed solar power systems in the park’s hospitals and dispensaries in Benin and Burkina Faso to supply electricity for lighting, medical refrigerators and radio communications. We also installed a system to provide safe drinking water to patients, nurses, and the local population. With these installations, a more stable medical infrastructure was created, improving the health conditions of both the local people and the nomadic populations using these facilities
  • A new water pumping station was constructed in Benin, replacing a simple water hole in a village located close to the park’s perimeter and sparing villagers several hours of hard work each day during the dry season of carrying unsafe drinking water kilometres away

Management of the installations was transferred to the local population, who, through cooperatives based on traditional systems already in existence in West Africa, took over the ownership of the equipment and installations and the responsibility for their operation and maintenance.

"We are also very pleased with the excellent actions, in a climate of healthy and dynamic cooperation, by UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB), the GSEP, and the EU. We very much appreciate the quality of the projects implemented, both within the park zone as well as along the periphery."


  • Électricité De France (EDF)
  • Hydro-Québec
  • Enel
  • Kansai Electric Power
  • RWE
  • Governments of Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • European Union (EU)

Tuvalu Solar Power System

Key results

  • The first grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) system developed and commissioned in Tuvalu, paving the way for solar development on the island
  • 40kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system, meeting approximately 5% of Funafuti’s peak demand and 3% of Tuvalu Electric Corporation’s (TEC) annual household consumption
  • Important transfer of technical know-how and expertise in solar PV technology, enabling TEC to undertake similar projects
  • An estimated 50 tonnes of COemissions avoided per year

In 2008, we commissioned the first grid-connected solar power system on the island nation of Tuvalu, paving the way for solar power development on the island. Like many Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Tuvalu, an archipelago of nine coral islands in the South Pacific Ocean, has been heavily reliant on imported fuel for its diesel power generation systems. It is also one the places on earth that are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. This pioneering project has helped Tuvalu’s government in its quest to switch from full reliance on oil imports to an energy system with an increased share of renewable energy. 

At commissioning, the 40 kW solar power system generated an annual 60 MWh of electricity with a stable monthly production average. This accounted for about 5% of Funafuti’s (Tuvalu’s capital) peak demand, and 3% of TEC’s annual household consumption. We monitored the system for a two-year period, during which we collaborated with local stakeholders to ensure local and sustainable ownership of the project and completed various repairs.

Total ownership of the assets was transferred to the Tuvalu Electric Corporation (TEC) in 2008. This project was a direct result of our collaboration with the Pacific Power Association (PPA). Since 2005, we have worked with PPA on a series of capacity-building workshops to develop renewable energies in the Pacific region.

"Thanks to their understanding, funding and technical support, GSEP enabled Tuvalu to operate its first grid-connected solar power generation system. The system was successfully implemented by GSEP which did a tremendous job not only in developing the project and installing the system but also in carrying out maintenance work at the project site, Tuvalu's national soccer stadium. For that, we are most grateful."


The Tuvalu Solar Power Project

Decreasing Reliance on Fuel and Enhancing Renewable Energy-Based Electrification in the Small Island State of Tuvalu.


  • Kansai Electric Power
  • Tokyo Electric Power Company
  • Government of Tuvalu
  • Tuvalu Electric Corporation
  • Pacific Power Association
  • Government of Japan

Renewable Energy Systems in Indonesia

Key results

  • Installation of 200 solar home systems, 4 microhydro power systems, and 1 solar/wind hybrid system in rural off-grid communities
  • Reduced the use of fuel such as kerosene
  • At commissioning, provided approximately 1,000 MWh of electricity per year to eight remote communities – more than 4,000 people
  • Recipient of the 2000 World Energy Award and the 2002 and 2004 ASEAN Energy Awards
  • Innovative decentralized management scheme for rural electrification
  • Substantially improved the quality of life of connected households with per capita monthly income increasing by a factor of 10
  • Pioneer in successfully disseminating renewable energy technology into local village culture in Indonesia, where apprehension previously existed

We installed autonomous electricity systems in eight remote Indonesian communities as part of our Renewable Energy Systems Project. These systems were commissioned in 2000 and officially transferred to the Indonesian government in 2001. The rural electrification systems were owned and operated by the villages and harnessed renewable energy using solar, hydro and wind technologies.

  • Installation of 200 solar home systems, 4 microhydro power systems, and 1 solar/wind hybrid system in rural off-grid communities
  • Reduced the use of fuel such as kerosene
  • At commissioning, provided approximately 1,000
  • Four microhydro power systems were installed in the remote areas of Ta’ba, Tendan Dua, and Bokin on Sulawesi Island, and at Waikelo Sawah on Sumba Island
  • 175 solar home systems were installed in the villages of Oelnaineno (Timor Island) and Lengkonamut (Flores Island), while 17 existing solar home systems were rehabilitated in Kualeu (Timor Island)
  • One solar photovoltaic-wind hybrid system with a diesel backup and a distribution network was built in Oeledo on Rote Island, in East Nusa Tenggara

At the time of commissioning:

  • The microhydro systems provided electricity to roughly 2500 people with a power supply ranging from 13 kW to 60 kW
  • Each 50 W solar home system provided sufficient electricity for lighting, radio, and television
  • The solar-wind hybrid system provided electricity to more than 600 people and allowed for more than three days of electricity supply in case of adverse weather conditions

The systems, with a combined generation of approximately 1,000 MWh per year, provided electricity to eight remote communities, a total of more than 4000 people. The quality of life in the villages improved substantially with access to electricity. Four to six new jobs were created per village through the creation of village utilities and an economic empowerment program raised the per capita monthly income by a factor of 10 from 62,000 IDR in 1999 to 620,000 IDR in 2007.

One of our main achievements was the development and introduction of an innovative, sustainable, and decentralized management concept for rural electrification. We created small village-run electricity co-ops to manage and assume responsibility for the facilities’ operation and maintenance. With the assistance of local NGOs and users’ groups, we provided a wide range of training to enhance the capacity of the co-ops, and to raise awareness among users to ensure community acceptance of the project. We monitored the systems for two years following the commissioning and handover of the facilities to the Indonesian government.

The project received a 2000 World Energy Award, a 2002 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Energy Award and a 2004 ASEAN Energy Award.

In 2013, the project was used as a case study on how to successfully integrate renewable energy technologies into remote village life. 



  • RWE
  • American Electric Power (AEP)
  • Enel
  • Hydro-Québec
  • Électricité de France (EDF)
  • Kansai Electric Power
  • Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)
  • Ontario Power Generation (OPG)
  • Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia
  • Directorate General for Electricity (DGE) (formerly Directorate General of Electricity and Energy Utilization) of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of Indonesia
  • Provincial governments of East Nusa Tenggara and South Sulawesi

Nepal Energy for Education Solar Project

Key results

  • Two solar photovoltaic (PV) systems (6.7 kW) installed at two schools in the remote village of Matela in western Nepal, where no access to electricity previously existed
  • Launched a computer program in the two rural schools and evening classes for the surrounding community
  • Distributed small solar home systems (SSHS) to all residents of Matela, minimizing the use kerosene lamps and substantially improving living conditions
  • Total of 10.6 kW of clean solar energy is now available to residents of Matela from the installed PV systems and the SSHS program
  • Proven, successful, and replicable model of sustainable development that uses solar energy as the basis to improve education services in remote rural regions of Nepa

The Energy for Education solar systems provide much-needed electricity and lighting to two local schools in the remote village of Matela in western Nepal. We installed two solar photovoltaic (PV) systems (total 6.7 kW) at the Malika U Ma Vi and Rastriya Ma Vi Schools, substantially improving the quality of education for over 700 students. The solar systems at the schools also provide energy to operate a new computer room at the Malika U Ma Vi School and two computers at the Rastriya Ma Vi School. Both schools now offer new reading and writing classes to adult residents.

As part of the project, we also distributed small solar home systems (SSHS) to students and residents of Matela. Clean, portable lamps allow students to do their homework after dusk and provide residents with a cleaner source of lighting for their homes. Solar lamps have now replaced kerosene lamps, significantly reducing health hazards such as burns and toxic fume inhalation. In total, approximately 10.6 kW of clean solar energy is now available to the residents of Matela.

We designed the project to be financially sustainable by charging a small fee for the use of the SSHS –comparable to that already paid by residents for kerosene lamps– and for participation in the computer program, ensuring sufficient funds for the operation and general maintenance of the equipment. We determined the fees with the local partners following a survey of local residents, taking into account participant’s ability to pay.

To ensure the systems’ sustainability, we conducted a technical training workshop on stand-alone photovoltaic (PV) systems from December 10-14, 2012 in Kathmandu, Nepal to provide the technical training for the operation and maintenance crew, and to current and future implementers of solar PV technology in Nepal. A total of 29 participants attended the workshop, including staff from the Beautiful Nepal Association (BNA), energy and environment officers from 15 different districts in Nepal, representatives from the beneficiary schools, from Kathmandu University, and from the Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC) of the Nepalese government.

This project is a pilot for the Nepalese education system, demonstrating that solar energy can be used to provide electricity to improve education services in rural regions. The Nepalese government’s AEPC has expressed interest in replicating the project in other regions in the country, and our technical workshop has ensured that there is now stronger, local capacity to do so.

The proposal for this project came from our 2009 scholarship recipient, Niraj Subedi. Niraj pursued his master’s studies in environmental and energy management at the University of Twente in the Netherlands and he worked to develop the feasibility study of the project. 

"It feels good to see computers in the school. We can now get information about the world with the computer and learn new things. Before, there was no electricity but now we have it. Before, we could not start class early in the morning because we had to wait until there was light. But now the lights are installed, we can start and finish whenever we like, even when it is dark! At home we used to read with our diyalo [traditional kerosene lamp] and it was very hard to study at night, but now we have good lights and it is very comfortable while reading. I can even help my parents learn to read!"


The Nepal Energy for Education Project

Demonstrating the potential of solar energy as a viable power source for improving education in rural regions.



  • Duke Energy
  • Kansai Electric Power
  • Beautiful Nepal Association (BNA)
  • Malika U Ma Vi School
  • Rastriya Ma Vi School
  • Matela VDC government
  • Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC), Government of Nepal