An innovation laboratory in Chile

In the village in the Andes, on the border with Bolivia, a project of Enel Green Power, where wind, solar and storage realize an innovative and sustainable off-grid system that gives constant access to energy to small local community.


Atacama Desert in the north of Chile is home to several small communities deprived of an access to the electricity grid. One of such communities is Ollagüe, a historic settlement of the indigenous Quechua, with its population of 250 people. Located close to the Bolivian border, Ollagüe is also one of the areas with the highest levels of solar irradiation on the planet.

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Enel Green Power has chosen Ropatec as a professional small wind partner for an off-grid project where wind, solar and storage plants are united in an innovative and sustainable system providing the local community with a constant access to energy. The project consisted of the construction of a 205 kWp hybrid power plant (thin film PV modules), Ropatec wind turbine with a nominal power of 30kW, Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) and an already existing diesel generator, all interconnected through an energy management system. The result was an isolated micro-grid system able to provide a 24-hour continuous supply of energy. In addition, the project involved the installation of two Trinum Systems in the Ollagüe school.

According to CNN, Ollagüe now is a gem of sustainability, which presents a concrete example of a commitment to sustainable energy for all. The video below features Bernabei Salvatore, Head of Enel Green Power in Chile and the Andean countries, Martino Meals, Enel Green Power Chile Project Leader, Carlos Reygadas, Mayor of the Municipality, and Luis Condori, a businessman from Ollagüe.

Thanks to this project, a dream of local people, who until now have not had an access to stable and continuous electricity having to rely on a diesel generator, has come true. Due to the integration of solar panels and a Ropatec turbine, the project will achieve an installed capacity of 232 kW and generate about 460 MWh a year allowing the inhabitants of this Chilean town to have a 24-hour access to power. Renewable energy consumption will offset 85% of time thus limiting the use of a diesel generator to specific cases and only in winter.


Ropatec is proud of being a part of this multilevel laboratory of innovation: on one hand the project allows to test the behavior of different materials and technologies at high altitudes and extreme temperature changes, on the other hand it provides a unique reference for evaluating the performance of the mix of technologies utilized to meet the needs of communities isolated from unceasing electricity supply.

Il video di Enel dedicato al progetto si può vedere qui