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Villonaco Andean Wind Farm

Harvesting sustainable energy in the heights of the Andes

QUICK PROFILE

• Interest:

CULTURE

• Country:
ECUADOR

2720

• Altitude meters:

• Min. visit time hours:

1

WIND FARM

• Type:

• Location:
LOJA CITY

• Kind:

URBAN

• Altitude feet:

8923

• Max. visit time hours:

2

RELEVANT CATEGORIES

None

GALLERY 

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ADDRESS & ACTIVITIES

ADDRESS OR VENUE

OPENING HOURS (or DATE if it is an event)

Old road Loja - Catamayo, Loja City, Ecuador

  • Monday, Sunday and holidays 08:00 - 17:00

RELATED ACTIVITIES

VISITS:

  • PANORAMIC SIGHTSEEING

  • GUIDED VISITS

SPECIALIZED:

  • GEO INTERPRETATION

ABOUT

Villonaco Wind Farm started operations in the year 2013. It is located from north to south, on a 22 km line, at the top of the Villonaco hill, at 2,720 meters above sea level, 14 km from the center of the city of Loja, Ecuador. It has 11 wind turbines, 100 meters high each. They are visible to the naked eye from Loja.

 

Since its inauguration, the power plant has become a tourist attraction. Villonaco means the one that warns that there is yellow water. Name composed of the Quichuas Quillu-Yaku words. An Andean belief points out that places where there are strong winds, also have the ability to announce the arrival of rain. "The hill is thundering," it is often said. The mountains are reservoirs of water and minerals. Origin of slopes. The Villonaco is a source of water for Loja and Catamayo. It divides the two valleys.

 

In its area there are activities of energy production, tourism, recreation, culture, biological research, reforestation and livestock. The pilgrimage to the Virgen del Cisne passes through its roads and paths. It is a resting place for pilgrims. It has the Peña Negra where the hawk nests. Ecuador's national tree, the cinchona or cascarilla, grows here. Birdwatching is another activity that can be done.

 

Since the middle of the XIX century there are references of the Villonaco, as a crossroads. From Loja to the west, there was a road that went through the Villonaco and Guaguaurco mountain ranges to El Cisne, then Yuñuc and Santa Rosa.

 

The Villonaco Wind Farm reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 35,000 tons and consumption of 4.5 million gallons of diesel per year in Ecuador. It covers 25% of the electrical demand of the province of Loja. Since its construction, it is the first project of its kind in the country and the first in the world. The Villonaco's winds have a speed of 12.6 meters per second. It generates 507.36 GW per hour to the National Interconnected System.

 

Each generator is of the type Goldwind 70/1500 of 1.5 MW, with an annual average speed of 12.7 m/s. The 11 generators are 2 km away from each other. The months with the strongest and most intense winds are July and August, although they are present in the Villonaco all year round.

 

Loja, capital of the Province of Loja, is its largest and most populated city. It is crossed by the rivers Zamora, Malacatos and Jipiro, in the south of the Ecuadorian Inter-Andean Region, in the basin of the Zamora River, at 2,060 meters above sea level. Equatorial climate, 18 °C average. Called the "Musical and Cultural Capital of Ecuador" for its architecture, cultural diversity, contribution to the arts, sciences, music and literature.

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