Bring Micro-Hydro Electricity to Brazilian Amazon

by Community Empowerment Network


This project will evaluate the feasibility of building a clean energy Micro-Hydrokinetic Electric Generator near the community of Suruaca along the Tapajos River in the Brazilian Amazon. Residents in many river communities in the region live without reliable access to electricity. This project will have immense positive impact on their health, livelihood and quality of life by establishing the feasibility of this promising and economical option for electricity.
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The 2500 residents of Suruaca, like hundreds of thousands of people throughout the Brazilian Amazon live without reliable access to electricity. The current options they have available are either not technically feasible or cost-prohibitive for communities to operate for more than a few hours a day. This leaves them without reliable electricity essential to storing medicines, provide light to study by, operate equipment needed to earn a living, and to improve the quality of life.


Most communities in the region are located along rivers that potentially offer considerable water flow required for micro-hydrokinetic generation. During this project we will determine the feasibility for installing a micro-hydrokinetic generator near Suruaca as a reliable source of energy. We will do this by: measuring the water current in multiple locations along the Tapajos River; analyzing their electricity needs; and assessing the ability to sustain the project.

Long-Term Impact

Micro-hydrokinetic energy is a low-impact, low cost technology used in an increasing number of waterways around the world to generate affordable electricity with a minimal environmental footprint. If the feasibility of the project can be shown, we will attempt to build a pilot to serve the 2500 residents of Suruaca. Eventually similar, locally-built generators could provide affordable and reliable electricity for communities of the region, improving health, income and quality of life.

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a Microsoft Word file (projdoc.doc).


Describes the benefits of Hydrokinetic Energy.
Example of Micro-hydrokinetic used in Alaska
Hydrokinetic for rivers in isolated communities

Organization Information

Community Empowerment Network

Location: Ferndale, WA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Community Empowerment Network
Project Leader:
Robert Bortner
Ferndale, WA United States

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