IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - July/August 2014 - 67

Stage 1

Photovoltaic
Diesel
The team's first visits to huataGenerator
Generator
Inverter
condo provided a general impression of the available resources
and the local social organization.
Demand
The local community, local and
Eolic
Diesel
Control
municipal governments, and two
Generator
Inverter
Tank
mining companies with operations
in the area were identified as relevant stakeholders. These actors
had direct influence on the existLoads
Inverter
ing energy system. This system
was maintained by the community
through an electricity committee. diesel fuel was provided by
Battery
Water
Water
the municipality, and the mining
Bank
Pump
Tank
companies and villagers did not
contribute to the cost of the energy figure 8. A diagram of the Huatacondo microgrid.
system, paying only a fixed tariff
of resources by sharing their local ecological knowledge
to cover maintenance costs.
huatacondo is a well-organized community with a high (e.g., of high-wind-speed locations) and their experience
level of social capital, and it is very capable of developing gained through work in their village, while the project
its own projects and initiatives. The team found that relations designers contributed experience regarding the optimal
with other stakeholders are good, with no major conflicts to location of units, taking into consideration the distance to
endanger the project, although relations with private organiza- the grid, local geography (the location of mountains that
could decrease solar power), and the factors that would
tions are perceived as not being transparent.
at this stage, the basic features of the energy system were affect selection of the connection points of the generation
determined. on the basis of data obtained from surveys units. at this stage, it was possible to draw up a detailed
and a measuring campaign, it was concluded that the vil- action plan for the project that clearly defined the scope
lage's main natural energy resource was the sun, with just of intervention and the allocation of responsibilities. This
one month of cloudy sky in a normal year and a very high was only feasible due to community engagement and paraverage daily level of irradiation (6.99 kWh/m2). Wind and ticipatory planning.
also at this stage, the system operator (responsible for
biomass were also found to be good potential resources.
maintenance) was appointed, and the new responsibilities
of the neighborhood council were assigned. The system
Stage 2
relevant institutions within the community were identified operator started to interact more closely with the technical
so as to use the existing social structure for planning and experts and was included in technical discussions in every
decision making and give different interests power over the phase of the implementation, enabling him to address doubts
project's development. The local institutions directly con- and express opinions. The persons who were to be responnected with the project are the electricity committee, the sible for maintenance were trained in the principal aspects
neighborhood council, and the drinking water committee. of every unit (wind generator, battery bank, and so on), and
meetings with these bodies were held to create an under- the head of the village incorporated reviews of maintenance
standing of the logistics of the operation of the electric- and key weaknesses of the system into his planning tasks.
ity and drinking water systems, to size devices, to estimate
maintenance processes, and to understand past problems. Stage 3
one of the barriers found at this stage was the difficult rela- The early days of the microgrid system's operation provided
tions existing between the drinking water committee and important information about its suitability and operability in
the members of other local institutions. it was necessary to the community context. most important, villagers were able to
hold several meetings within the community and with the experience 24-hour electricity and evaluate the project's poslocal government to understand the conflict and reach an sible impacts and benefits. impact assessment was carried out
agreement on how to resolve it.
with two separate groups. on the one hand, villagers positively
Three planning meetings were held with all the com- evaluated the system's implementation and initial operation
munity's inhabitants to define the location of generation and were also positive about its future development. on the
units and other relevant aspects of the project. Villagers other hand, the migrant population was more skeptical about
contributed considerably to understanding the viability the project's benefits for the community and its impact on
july/august 2014

ieee power & energy magazine

67



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - July/August 2014

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - July/August 2014 - Cover1
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - July/August 2014 - Cover2
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - July/August 2014 - 1
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - July/August 2014 - Cover3
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - July/August 2014 - Cover4
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