I’ve enjoyed spending the last work-week with Orlando Regalón, an INAOE research colleague from Cuba, at the CERTE microgrid site in Juchitán, Oaxaca. Just getting to the this remote part of the Tehuantepec Isthmus involved an 11-hour overnight bus ride. We stayed at the Hotel Santo Domingo, very close to the bus station, and commuted about 15 miles daily to the CERTE site near La Ventosa.
This narrow stretch of Mexico located between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans has some of the highest average wind speeds in the world. Large wind farms have since been developed here to capture this renewable energy. Approximately 4,500 wind turbines, most of them over 100 meters high can generate over _____ MW of power daily.
The problems with our microgrid test site include:
- the two small wind turbines weren’t designed to withstand the strong winds of this area and are not functioning;
- the microgrid was never connected to the CFE grid, so it’s not possible to feed power back into the central grid; and
- the system was never connected to the internet, so researchers at INAOE & INEEL could not access research date remotely.
Orlando & I were only here to solve that internet connection problem. More to follow when I get back to INAOE.