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.
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.