Villonaco Wind Farm - clean energy in Loja Ecuador

Loja, located in southern Ecuador, is recognized as one of the most environmentally friendly cities in South America. A big part of the reason is due to the Villonaco Wind Power Plant, which provides 30% of the electricity used by the city.

Construction started in 2011 and the plant started producing green energy just two years later, in 2013. The eleven wind turbines have a generating capacity of 16.5 Megawatts of electricity. Each tower is 65 meters high (213 feet) and this height, coupled with the altitude of the mountain (2720 meters above sea level, or 8900 feet), ensures a nearly constant supply of wind adequate to turn the blades.

In fact, the location atop Cerro Villonaco hill is special in that it takes advantage of winds naturally produced by the collision of dry western air and humid air from the east. Power generation begins with only a minimum wind speed of 3 meters per second (6.7 mph), and ends at approximately 25 meters per second (56 mph) when automatic brakes shut down the spin to protect the equipment.

The turbines were manufactured in China by GOLDWIND and then shipped to Puerto Bolívar in Machala. They have a life expectancy of 20 years. Currently, there are proposals for building two more wind power plants in the near future, "Villonacos II and III."

It is possible for the public to visit the Parque Eólico to enjoy the views and see displays about its construction, plus learn more about the benefits of wind power generation in the visitor's center. The displays contain lots more information - in Spanish - so if you need an interpreter then contact me for assistance so we can arrange a time to go together.


Popular Posts