ATESS Brings Clean and Reliable Energy to Remote Communities in Argentina


Jujuy's Solar Towns Initiative

The province of Jujuy has launched the Solar Towns program to replace traditional energy generation with cleaner alternatives. Photovoltaic power plants in the towns of Catua, El Toro, and San Juan de Quillques marked their designation as solar towns.

With this initiative, Jujuy now boasts eight solar towns. These projects align with the province's long-term development plan and global clean energy goals, aiming to establish 11 solar towns across Jujuy.

The Transition to Solar Energy

In December 2023, the Jujuy provincial government completed the energy transformation for Catua, El Toro, and San Juan de Quillques. This shift means that fossil fuel generators, once the primary power source, are no longer in use. Thanks to solar energy stored in lithium-ion batteries, these towns now enjoy uninterrupted electricity 24/7, 365 days a year.

Here are the specific configurations:

l Catua: Installed with a 330 kWp PV system, paired with two ATESS HPS120 hybrid inverters and an 819.2 kWh battery system.

l El Toro: Equipped with a 252 kWp PV system, along with two ATESS HPS100 hybrid inverters and a 778 kWh battery system.

l San Juan de Quillques: Fitted with a 138 kWp PV system, complemented by two ATESS HPS50 hybrid inverters and a 348 kWh battery system.

Funded by the Project for Renewable Energy in Rural Markets (PERMER) of the Ministry of Energy, these projects aim to transform energy supply in the towns of San Juan de Quillques, El Toro, and Catua. Before this intervention, these dispersed towns had limited electricity services powered by generators. The shift to PV systems with lithium battery storage ensures 24-hour service and clean energy production, eliminating the environmental and noise impacts of fuel combustion.

Investment and Impact

The Project for Renewable Energy in Rural Markets (PERMER) of the Ministry of Energy has invested US$4,380,162 in the project of three small photovoltaic power generation networks in Jujuy Province. This investment serves three rural areas, primarily inhabited by the Atacama people of the Puna region, who were previously disconnected from the electrical grid. The residents' main activities include subsistence livestock farming and lithium mining services.

The Secretary of Energy, Sergio Pizarro, emphasized, “The significance of establishing solar towns lies in providing guaranteed 24-hour electricity service to remote locations far from urban centers and general distribution networks, enhancing development conditions and possibilities for a better quality of life.”

A Sustainable Solution

These mini-grids, composed of renewable energy plants, deliver uninterrupted power to isolated areas via power lines. The plants are equipped with lithium iron phosphate batteries to provide electricity at night and have diesel generators as backups for unfavorable production conditions. Each user is also equipped with a meter, meeting electricity needs similar to urban users. Catua averages 426 kWh per day, El Toro 443 kWh per day, and San Juan de Quillques 182 kWh per day. The population in these areas is expected to grow into small towns in the coming years.

PERMER coordinator Luciano Galardón stated, “These mini-grids will boost local productivity and socio-economic development, fostering economic vitality and population growth.”

Community Benefits

l Catua: The mini photovoltaic network investment provides power to 146 households and seven public buildings, including a health station, police station, post office, and sports center.

l El Toro: Serving 72 households and six public buildings, including two schools, a health station, a church, a police post, and a multifunctional community hall.

l San Juan de Quillques: The network benefits 72 residents and various public buildings, such as a neighborhood center, church, health station, and police detachment.

These projects aim to provide secure electricity to remote rural residents. These mini-networks are environmentally and economically sustainable solutions, fostering new production, education, and cultural perspectives, ultimately creating better conditions for quality of life and human development, both socially and economically.

ATESS will remain committed to delivering sustainable energy solutions, bringing clean and reliable power to more communities, and driving the global energy transition forward.