Penitentiary center for social reintegration: Inmates start training to learn how to operate geothermal greenhouse in Patagonia

Wednesday, 05 de July

(CEGA, July 5th)  The initiative seeks to prepare the inmates of the Education and Work Center (CET) of Valle Verde, (Aysén Region, Patagonia) to take charge of the first geothermal greenhouse in the region, in both its technical operation and in its business model, looking forward to commercialize which are expected to be the first lettuce of local and ecological origin during the coming winter.


On June 27th and 28th, CEGA researchers Sofia Vargas and Diego Aravena, with the support of Gendarmerie, began the series of training sessions that will enable the inmates of Valle Verde Education and Work Center (CET) – Aysén region – to produce vegetables with the energy of the earth. This, within the framework of the project “Geothermal greenhouse for social reintegration in Aysén”, financed by the Energy Access Fund – FAE-2016 of the Ministry of Energy.



The geothermal greenhouse will provide vegetable crops throughout the year, a situation that to date is only possible in greenhouses heated with firewood. Currently a lettuce takes to grow at least 2 ½ months and with an average temperature of 18C, estimated for the greenhouse, it would take about 25 days.


The program developed by CEGA professionals included training on the stages of implementation of the project, the construction of the greenhouse, instances of participation and a theoretical-practical workshop on the use of heat pumps for geothermal energy. At the end of the activity, a visit was made to the greenhouse that will be enabled with geothermal energy, and the team worked with the thermal chamber and soil temperature measurements.


The activity also had the participation of regional authorities, such as the Energy Regional Ministry Secretary, Juan Antonio Bijit; Of Agriculture, Horacio Velásquez; And Justice, Cristian Díaz, along with professionals from CONAF – National Forest Corporation- and Gendarmerie.