05 Sep 19 News Communities Chile

School workshop turns students onto renewables

Puelche Sur project manager Luis, left, gives electrical engineering pupils at LICHAF the lowdown on wind and solar power

These fifth- and sixth-year pupils got switched on to the true potential of clean energy when Mainstream took over their classroom for a workshop in renewable power.

Luis Prieto, project manager of the Puelche Sur Wind Project in the Los Lagos region of southern Chile, made the trip to the nearby commune of Frutillar last week to talk to students who are specialising in electrical engineering.

The presentation was timetabled as part of Mainstream’s co-operation agreement with the German Chilean Industrial Secondary School, or LICHAF, which aims to pass on the theory and practical information about renewable energy.

Luis’s youthful audience were given an overview of the different forms of energy generation in Chile, before he detailed the important role that wind and solar power has in the government’s drive to establish Chile as the world's first carbon-neutral developing country.

He also spoke about Mainstream’s innovative approach to community relations, through which the company strives to engage with and involve local people from the very early stages of its projects.

Questions from the class showed how the students were eager to learn more about environmental impacts, community work and the differences between conventional and nonconventional energy sources.

One pupil, Matías San Martín, later revealed that the presentation was “really useful”, saying: “We learnt a lot about renewable energy and how the energy system works in Chile.”

And classmate Tania Pérez added: “Renewable energy is a really interesting topic; it is the energy of the future and it’s really important for us to learn more about it.”

Mainstream will continue working closely with LICHAF, with plans to take students on a guided tour of a wind farm, as well as running further educational activities.

  • The Puelche Sur project was granted environmental approval in March, clearing the way for construction of a 153 MW capacity wind farm that will power the equivalent of 180,000 homes a year when it enters operation.