The New Patagonia National Park is located in the remote Chacabuca Valley of southern Chile. Without a reliable electricity source and limited access to fuels, the Kris and Doug Tompkins aimed to build the world's first energy independent national park. Starting with well insulated buildings, massed to take advantage of passive solar heating, the overall park design focused on sustainability from day one. Heating is provided by concentrated solar thermal collectors with wood heating backup. Electricity is provided by solar PV and hydro power with a diesel generator backup.
The aim of our work was to understand the electricity demands within the park by installing electrical sub-meters on the main power grid and key buildings. With this data, a map of the electrical demands by season down to the minute is created and resources can be dispatched accordingly. This work was made possible by Kris and Doug Tompkins along with Dagoberto Guzman, Francisco Morande Ruiz-Tagle, Juan Carlos Rojel, and Atelier Ten.