The founder of rugged outdoor clothing outlet North Face and the former CEO of similar outdoorsy clothing company Patagonia are in fact a husband and wife team who founded the conservation project together.
Douglas and Kristine Tompkins moved to Chile around 30 years ago and established the National Park - among 15 such parks the pair helped fund and found in Chile and Argentina, protecting some 14 million hectares of land in the process.
Two hydraulic turbines and a solar PV system with 115kWp of AC-coupled output in total have been paired up with a 144kWh battery energy storage system made and supplied by German company Tesvolt.
The solution replaces expensive and polluting diesel generators at the site. The project was planned and carried out by local installation company SyR Energia. Gonzalo Rodriguez, an engineer at SyR Energia said that combining the hydroelectric turbines with PV was “technically very demanding,” with the park located a long distance from the nearest connection to an electrical grid.
“We are very excited about the construction of the most advanced hydroelectric-solar microgrid in Chile which will continue to provide clean power for the park for many years to come. This alternative energy system minimises the park’s CO2 footprint and therefore contributes to the fight against climate change,” executive director of Tompkins Conservation Chile, Carolina Morgado, said.