BlueEnergy’s systems are assembled locally at a wind-powered shop on a campus of the National Technical Institute, a government-sponsored secondary school for aspiring engineers, mechanics, and technicians. In June, the crew completed its third and largest energy system installation at the Bluefields location—a 12-foot-diameter, 1 KW turbine mounted on a 100-foot lattice tower.
In the shop, equipped with two welding machines, an air compressor, an acetylene torch, and other modern shop tools, a crew of local employees and international volunteers work year-round, fabricating hybrid wind/solar systems. Wind turbines are based on wind guru Hugh Piggott’s design, which uses locally available metal and parts. Other equipment is purchased from nongovernmental organizations and RE distributors in Managua (see “Sustainable Energy at Monkey Point” sidebar).