By: Rossella Piccirillo | Sustainability Project and Practice Sharing at Enel | April 28th, 2016

Enel Green Power wanted to expand its business in Latin America by entering a new country: Peru. With this goal the company identified a tender* for the construction of an innovative Hybrid Off-Grid solution, that combines capacity and solar mini-wind with a diesel generator. The installation of this kind of plant is replicated in other contexts of rural electrification through a technical training of local workers who are entrusted with the management and maintenance of the plant rendering the whole plant sustainable.

Peru’s seabed is rich in natural diversity with about 450 different species of algae live in just this part of the Pacific Ocean. The small mining community of San Juan de Marcona in the province of Nazca depends on the port and most of its 20 thousand inhabitants are fishermen. Fifteen fishing associations in the area have created a cooperative that mainly deals with the harvesting and sale of algae. The cooperative is known, at the national level, as a model of sustainable fishing that respects the marine ecosystem, thanks to the “passive harvesting” technique used, which avoids the uprooting of the algae and thus protects their natural and continuous reproduction. The raw product is usually sold to a single buyer that determines the price.

After conducting a survey with the fishermen, authorities from the sector and local NGOs, Enel Green Power identified training courses to resolve the problems pointed out. The activities initiated locally were diverse training courses tackling the following issues: deaths and injuries caused by unsafe diving, inadequate harvesting techniques, shortage of algae due to adjacent communities exploiting the ecosystem with a cultivation lab powered through a hybrid system, which will be maintained at a later stage by ‘solar mamas’ trained in Tilonia at the Barefoot College (Rajasthan – India).

San Juan de Marcona is a clear example of Enel’s sustainability approach, hence actively engage with the community where the company operates and contribute, through innovative solutions, to the local development. This is in fact an example of how a highly sustainable business will become more competitive, in the long run. Enel is therefore aiming to insert sustainability in the business process, by consolidating a model built around “Creating Shared Value” and based on listening to and engaging with local communities, promoting the rational use of the local resources.

This is also the pilot project used to measure the quantitative impact of the initiative through the SROI and precisely in terms of the benefit generated for the community over a five-year time horizon.

* Enel Green Power has been awarded the right to sign 20-year energy supply contracts with three projects for a total of 326 MW 2/18/2016


Test a new innovative Offgrid - hybrid system solution and adopt a proactive approach improving community relations and opening new business opportunities before winning a tender and entering the country.


Increase safety measures during fishing operations and develop the local business by improving the artisanal fishing supply chain and the marketing of products (seaweed and fish). This will therefore help increase families disposable income and improve the living standards of the community. 


San Juan de Marcona_Country Fact Sheet.pdf