First Big Grid-Connected Wind Turbine in Peru
By Romulo Bisetti Solari, CENERGIA, Peru
Peru is located on the Pacific coast of South America. The Andes
mountain chain crosses the country from north to south, and
almost one-third of the country's land is covered by the Amazon
rain forest. However, the main cities are located in the valleys
that cross the more than 2000 km of narrow coastal desert. Lima,
the capital city, is located on the coast and has 7 million
inhabitants, almost one-third of the total population.
The total power-generating capacity installed in Peru is about
4,000 MW, of which 3,250 MW is hydro and the remaining is
thermal, fuelled by oil. The hydro energy is coming from
waterfalls in the highlands, far from the main demand points.
The electricity consumption is less than 600 kWh per capita, and
no more than 50 % of the population has electricity. The growth
of the GDP, due to the successful economic programme of the
Government, creates demands for more energy. The increased need
is to be met, in the short term, by new thermal power plants.
The Ministry of Energy and Mines has a National Electrification
Plan that promotes sustainable energy for the middle- and long
terms. According to that goal, over the last two years, it has
been financing a number of renewable-energy projects in small and
large applications, for grid-connected as well as isolated
systems in rural areas, in order to improve the availability of
electricity. Some wind measurement studies have shown that the
coast of Peru has significant wind energy resources. There are
several places with 6 m/s annual average wind speed, and some
with over 8 m/s.
The latter case applies to Malabrigo, which has 8.7 m/s annual
average wind speed. Malabrigo is a port located 600 km north of
Lima, near the Trujillo City, the location of the first
successful grid-connected wind turbine in Peru. It is a Danish
MICON Wind Turbine, with a rating of 250 kW, hub height of 30 m,
three-bladed rotor of 28.8 m diameter, and radio remote control
system. This project was financed by the Ministry of Energy and
Mines (MEM), supervised by Centro de Conservacion de Energia y
del Ambiente (CENERGIA) on behalf of the MEM, and carried out by
MICON Argentina S.A.
In Spanish, Malabrigo means "the place where you can't keep warm
because you are not able to keep your coat and hat on" This
place is very popular with summer surfers, since the strong winds
produce large waves. Malabrigo has 1,614 households (7,653
inhabitants). There was a diesel generator set installed there
to which 49,3 % of the households were connected, but most of
time the gen set was off because of the lack of fuel and "they
used to have no electrical service". For many years, Malabrigo
has waited for connection to the grid. Now, a 34.5-kV line 17
km long has been installed for the wind turbine connection, and
the Malabrigo people's dream has came true.
The Ministry of Energy and Mines is interested in promoting more
sites for wind farms on the coast, due to the wind energy
available and the need for electricity. Wind power is a good
alternative source of energy for the big coastal cities. It
would reduce the fuel consumption of existing thermal power
plants. The wind farms could support the grid during dry
seasons, improving the reliability of the system.
Like Malabrigo, many other towns could be connected to the main
grid if they took advantage of their wind resources. Their
potential net contributions of wind-generated power could attract
the grid to them. Otherwise, they remain isolated, since they
cannot finance the connection themselves.
CENERGIA, Centro de Conservacion de Energia y del Ambiente, is
a non-profit organisation whose main shareholders include the
Ministry of Energy and Mines, Electroperu (National Power
Company), Petroperu (National Petroleum Company), the SNI
(National Society of Industries) , and COFIDE (National
Development Bank). The mission of CENERGIA is to achieve
sustainable development in the energy sector. The main activities
are training, advertising, and studies.
More Info: Romulo Bisetti Solari, CENERGIA, Av Cesar Vallejo 272
Lince, Lima, Peru. Ph: +51-1-470-0929, fax:+51-1-470-6786,e-mail: