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

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

Hybrid Wind-Diesel System in Chorriaca, Argentina

Key results

  • A hybrid 75 kW wind (3 x 25kW) – diesel (120kW) power plant generating on average 226,000 kWh per year
  • Innovative hybrid system design optimizes wind energy production (44% penetration factor) and uses the diesel generator more efficiently as a supplement when needed
  • Provides affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to a remote Patagonian community that previously had limited access to electricity
  • Displaces the use of diesel, providing fuel savings of around 68,500 USD per year and a reduction in CO2 emissions
  • Generated fuel savings from this project and its sister microhydro project in Cochico will be reinvested into developing other similar renewable energy projects in surrounding off-grid villages by the provincial government

In 2013, we inaugurated a hybrid wind-diesel system in the village of Chorriaca, Argentina, providing residents with access to uninterrupted electricity for the first time. The wind-diesel hybrid system has an installed capacity of 195 kW: three 25 kW wind turbines and a 120 kW diesel generator operate together with a hybrid generation control system. The system generates on average 226,000 kWh per year.

A remote off-grid village in the Patagonian outback, Chorriaca used to rely on a conventional and inefficient diesel generator for its electricity. Not only did this system provide sporadic power for limited periods of time, it also caused substantial noise pollution and residents suffered from electricity shortages due to lack of fuel.

With the new hybrid system, cleaner, reliable, and affordable electricity is available to local residents. The system optimizes wind energy production and uses diesel as a supplement only when electricity demand is high. Residents are able to cook, light their houses and connect small appliances around the clock. The local health care station now has access to electricity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as well as Chorriaca’s Primary School Nº 97, which has 84 young students.

During the community outreach activities and the project’s development, residents highlighted the impact that stable electricity access would have on not only improving their quality of living, but also helping preserve their indigenous Mapuche culture. Reliable electricity access will increase the potential for new economic activities, which will minimize the emigration of the younger generations, who often leave to look for job opportunities elsewhere.

One of our key objectives was to help promote the scaling up of renewable energy projects in the region, which is in line with national and provincial interests to develop renewable energy generation. The local utility and distribution company, Ente Provincial de Energial Del Neuquén (EPEN), will use the fuel savings generated by this system (calculated at approximately 68,500 USD per year) and its sister microhydro project in Cochico to develop new renewable energy projects in the region. We transferred the ownership of the wind-diesel hybrid system to EPEN in 2015. In addition, the sharing of technical know-how and experience from these projects will help build capacities for the development, operation and maintenance of similar systems in isolated towns within the province of Neuquén and in Argentina.

"For all of us, this is a highly anticipated project. It is essential for our Mapuche community because Chorriaca must continue to grow. From now on, we, as citizens, will continue to support our community as much as we can. Many children are being raised in this community, and we look forward to a better future for them. When I arrived at Chorriaca in 1987, there was an electrical generator that only generated power from 8 am to 12 pm. and from 7 pm to 12 am. Today the situation is completely different. Today, more work can be created. This is already a reality and not just words. As a result of this, Chorriaca will grow even more. Thank you to the people who worked on this project and to the companies that participated in it."


The Argentina Patagonia Renewable Energy Projects

Promoting the development of local renewable energy sources to provide a sustainable and reliable electricity service to remote communities.



  • Duke Energy
  • American Electric Power (AEP)
  • Enel
  • Hydro-Québec
  • RusHydro
  • RWE
  • Neuquén Provincial Government
  • Ente Provincial de Energía del Neuquén
  • Chorriaca Development Commission
  • Quilapi Mapuche community and Chorriaca residents