The Playa Blanca Community Wind Workshop!
At WindAid Institute we are always looking to the future. We have been installing wind turbines from our base in Trujillo for years and it has been very successful. However, if the communities had the facilities closer at hand to maintain their own systems, they could be assured of more consistent access to energy, and have the opportunity really understand how the systems work.
We have a vision for a series of Community Wind Workshops, acting as hubs in the regions we work in. And we are making that vision into reality!
We are now building our first workshop now in Playa Blanca. Many of our previous volunteers will know the fishing village of Playa Blanca, on the beautiful northern coast of Peru, as we already have more than 17 turbines installed there.
The community has set aside land for us, and we have already made the basic structure of the first rooms! It will be a fully outfitted test center for:
• Electrification! building and servicing wind turbines installed in the local area
• Education! teaching the community, national students and international volunteers about wind energy, turbine science and mechanics
• Engineering! developing and testing new turbine system designs
We are raising the funds to have a basic facility operating by end of January 2017, and the remaining elements completed through the rest of the year. In June 2016 we ran a crowdfunding event on Kickstarter and although we didn’t raise the targeted amount, many of our backers decided to fund us anyway through donations, so we have been able to complete the next stages of the build with our volunteer groups from July to September.
But there is still more to do, and we'd love to get your support on 29 November - #GivingTuesday (or #GivingWinday in our case!)
The main living areas have walls, doors and a temporary roof and the posts have been put up marking out the remaining structure of the building. A test turbine (to provide power now and when the workshop facilities are more complete, the opportunity to measure turbine output in the area and start testing new system design features) has been fitted. And lighting has been installed.
We are very pleased that the community is already using it as a shared space, and it is providing basic but comfortable accommodation and workspace for our volunteers.
We are heading back to Playa Blanca in November to continue building and fitting out the facilities. The composting toilet has proved more complicated that we anticipated but we think we have found a solution to this valuable facility!