On the Way to Electrify a Village in Peru
Here is the latest installment by our intrepid project manager Grant Neely, whom we loaned to Twende, a non-profit organization that brings electricity to small and developing communities across the world. Grant is now in Peru’s Amazon Basin, working with other solar professionals to install a solar-and-battery system in the isolated indigenous village of Mushuk Llamas.
Terapoto, Peru – Our team met two days ago in dry, coastal Lima then flew 250 miles north over the Andes and down here to this hub of San Martín Province, on the range’s damp, tropical side, where the solar equipment and supplies we shipped from the States awaited us.
The landscape here is verdant, bird-filled rainforest; jungle waterfall country where streams tumble from the hills, flowing into dozens of rivers that feed the Amazon. After packing our trucks, we’ll drive fifteen miles down the gorge of the Rio Huallaga to meet village leaders and start packing our solar components and supplies up mountain trails to Mushuk Llamas. Then the important work begins, building a power system!
Our team leaders have worked closely to understand the needs of the Mushuk Llamas community, designing a system that will bring the village lights, Internet access, and refrigeration for food and medicine for the first time. Children will be able to study at night; a small-scale coffee bean processing operation will become more productive; online education will become an active learning tool for everyone in the village.
I always knew I wanted to work in remote places bringing solar power to people who need it most, so this is an incredibly exciting opportunity to make a big difference for this small village of indigenous Peruvians in the Amazon Basin.
As we see it, working in the solar industry brings an obligation to practice what we preach, using our skills to improve lives and to spread a technology that helps combat climate change every day. Northwest Renewables’ support for this Peru mission is an important step towards our active collaboration with local and regional partners, as well as to our industry’s commitment to renewable energy and its importance to our global family.
For now, we’re into the project and out of touch for the next two weeks. I’ll post if I get back to Tarapoto for supplies in the meantime. Hasta luego!
You can support the Mushuk Llamas Project with a tax-deductible donation at twendesolar.org/grant.