Improving the standard of life in remote communities
Located in Northwest Argentina, Antofagasta is a small community situated at 3323 metres above sea level. It receives only 200 millimeters of annual rainfall and temperatures are well below zero throughout the long winters.
In the past, electricity for the community came from an isolated network that supplied a small group of homes with limited capacity. As lithium mining activity grew in recent years, so did the city, increasing the demand for energy. To address this, our team in Argentina was brought on to provide the design services needed to build a hybrid photovoltaic (PV) and diesel-operated plant. The large lithium mining operations in Antofagasta have led to a larger corporate social responsibility program to help communities improve their living conditions, and with the creation of this plant, Antofagasta is now able to satisfy the electricity needs of their off-grid community.
As a result of our work, the province of Catamarca will save $140,000 USD a year on diesel and transportation costs. Electricity blackouts no longer occur, and the uncertainty that came with the diesel supply has been drastically reduced. Food conservation and preparation have improved for the locals, as well as their lighting and heating conditions.
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