IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - July/August 2014 - 69

Impacts on the Local Physical
Environment and Landscape
✔  57.5% of respondents thought the microgrid had no

effect on the local fauna, while 42.5% expressed concern about possible collisions between the condor birds
that regularly fly in the area and the wind turbine.
✔  92.5% stated that the project did not affect the local
vegetation since the equipment was installed far away
from areas containing farms, crops, and native plants.
✔  82.5% reported a positive effect on the landscape
because the project brought modernity and technological innovation, while 12.5% stated that the project
did not affect the local landscape and 5% considered it
to have negative effects on the landscape.

microgrid's operation and the community, including sustainability indicators.
These proposals were tested together with the community in a small, isolated village called huatacondo in the
atacama desert of northern Chile. The impact of the social
sCada system on the community was positive; the majority of huatacondo's inhabitants approved of the project
after one year of operation.
future developments may create additional modules that
would support the community's decision-making processes by,
for example, envisaging the technical future of the microgrid
or the future social state of the community. in addition, resilience development and monitoring in microgrids are identified
as key challenges for future developments.

Impacts on Productive Activities

Acknowledgments

most people said that it was now possible to undertake new
economic activities or enhance existing ones. in particular,
27% believed the project to be beneficial for the development
of tourism and associated services; 23% said that it would
benefit agriculture through irrigation technology; 18% suggested that it would benefit construction activities due to the
longer period in which electrical tools could be used; and
finally, 2% felt there could be a negative impact on agricultural development because farmers might neglect their farms
and crops to pursue other activities that were now possible.
during the period of microgrid operation using the social
sCada system, the operators have reported the following results:
✔  one equipment failure in the period 2010-2014
✔  a high level of community commitment to maintenance activities and demand-response programs
✔  a high level of interest on the part of the people in
charge of maintenance and operation activities, as
reflected in low rotation in the maintenance team
✔  no accidents involving people or animals.
in addition, the social sCada system offers the same
benefits as traditional sCada systems, including:
✔  improved diesel consumption, with a reduction of
50% as compared to the previous system
✔  improved reliability levels
✔  higher power quality.

This work was supported in part by empresa minera doña
inés de Collahuasi and ConiCYT/fondap/15110019.
The authors would also particularly like to thank the huatacondo community.

Conclusions and Future Developments
This article discusses different ways of achieving community engagement with a microgrid system to promote
the long-term sustainability of power supply systems for
isolated locations. These concepts and applications foster community participation in the system's development
and operation.
a microgrid development methodology is first presented, with the aim of promoting local community participation in a project. This methodology considers not only
the project's implementation but also its long-term sustainability, which may be ensured through the use of a "social
sCada" system that gathers and stores data about both the
july/august 2014

For Further Reading
World Bank independent evaluation Group, The Welfare
Impact of Rural Electrification: A Reassessment of the Costs
and Benefits. Washington, d.C.: World Bank, 2008, p. 154.
C. alvial-palavicino, n. Garrido-echeverría, G. Jiménezestévez, l. reyes, and r. palma-Behnke, "a methodology
for community engagement in the introduction of a renewable based smart microgrid," Energy Sustain. Develop.,
vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 314-323, sept. 2011.
a. krishnaswamy, "participatory research: strategies
and tools," Strategy, vol. 20, no. 2003, pp. 17-22, 2004.
Guide to Developing a Community Renewable Energy
Project, Commission for environmental Cooperation, montreal, Quebec, Canada, 2008, p. 59.
raven, mourik, feenstra, and heiskanen, "modulating societal acceptance in new energy projects: Towards a
toolkit methodology for project managers," Energy, vol. 34,
no. 5, pp. 564-574, may 2009.
Indicators of Sustainable Development: Guidelines and
Methodologies Indicators of Sustainable Development, 3rd ed.
new York: United nations, oct. 2007, p. 93.

Biographies
Guillermo A. Jiménez-Estévez is with Universidad de
Chile, santiago, Chile.
Rodrigo Palma-Behnke is with Universidad de Chile,
santiago, Chile.
Diego Ortiz-Villalba is with Universidad de Chile, santiago, Chile.
Oscar Núñez Mata is with Universidad de Chile, santiago, Chile.
Carlos Silva Montes is with Universidad adolfo ibáñez,
santiago, Chile.
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