Remote Vila Restauração in northwest Brazil now has 24/7 power, thanks to the installation of a solar plus storage microgrid.
The project by Brazilian energy distributor Energisa and its distributed generation subsidiary Alsol Energias Renováveis and the international technology company Ingeteam included the installation of 600 solar PV panels and a bank of batteries along with the respective inverters, as well as two biodiesel generators and a control system.
Previously the 750-inhabitant village relied on a diesel generator providing three to four hours of power per day.
During the day the PV system provides electricity to the village as well as charges the batteries, which are then available for supply during the nighttime hours. When it is cloudy and there is insufficient charge in the batteries, the system automatically switches to the biodiesel generators, to ensure an uninterrupted supply and that the batteries are recharged.
Vila Restauração is located in the northwestern Brazilian state of Acre, close to the border with Peru. It is considered one of the most remote locations in the country, with the only access by boat taking up to 10 hours.
As such, the delivery of the solar and other equipment required careful logistical planning.
The electrification is expected to transform life in the village, opening up new business opportunities and for example improving the storage of items such as foodstuffs and medicines.
The project was undertaken as part of Energisa’s R&D activities, as required by the regulator Aneel. Its distribution subsidiary Energisa Acre is the local distributor.
The company is monitoring the system remotely to track its operation and also to receive early alerts of problems or possible maintenance requirements.
In addition to the electricity supply, Energisa entered a partnership with the mobile operator TIM to provide internet to the residents of Vila Restauração and the village was fitted with the first 4G antenna in the region.