- The company has been contributing for the past 100 years to the city's progress and a better quality of life for its residents, showing changes in the most diverse areas of action, transformations that brought the necessary energy to drive the urban development process in the Chilean capital.
- During its anniversary, the company will provide a series of contributions to the community's students and schools, including the Enel Electricity Museum, specially designed for students and for all who want to learn about the history of electricity and its projections for the future.
Santiago, September 1, 2021 – Enel Distribución turns 100 years old delivering electricity to millions of families in the Metropolitan Region and becoming a key player in the Santiago modernization process.
Looking back over the company's 100-year existence offers a tour through the history of the city and its residents. The company has been contributing for the past 100 years to the city's progress and a better quality of life for its residents, showing changes in the most diverse areas of action, transformations that brought the necessary energy to drive the urban development process in the Chilean capital.
During its anniversary, it will provide the entire community with a series of educational contributions, sharing the history of the Santiago electrical system and how it helped develop the city.
The first event is the opening of the Enel Electricity Museum, a space that takes a walk through the company's history through artifacts, machines, tools, images, and videos of how electricity expanded through the country, accompanying the evolution of the capital city.
This initiative is a contribution to local students and schools given by Enel Distribución and Enel Transmisión to the city of Santiago, and particularly students and any other people interested in learning about the history of electricity and its projections into the future.
“Over the past 100 years, we have had the privilege to witness and be part of the city's growth and progress. The arrival of electricity to homes, the replacement of wooden utility poles with concrete ones, the electrification of street lighting, the construction of the Santiago metropolitan railway, now the Santiago Metro, and the universalization of electricity have been some of the milestones that have certainly marked the way the city’s residents live today. In the upcoming years, the city will continue to transform, and the company will support this transformation,” explains Ramón Castañeda, CEO of Enel Distribución.
Over the years, the city continued to grow and, with it, the energy needs for transport, homes, streets, and businesses. The company began to respond to new challenges in a city immersed in a process of modernization and rapid growth. The face of Santiago quickly changed. The city’s downtown stores began to fill with bright lights and billboards.
These decades marked the history of the company under the wing of the evolution of the city, with many more Santiago residents having daily access to a wide variety of electrical appliances in their homes during the 1930s.
But the challenges did not stop at bringing electricity to all corners of the city. The climate also brought about new issues. At the end of the 1950s and early 1960s, the drought wreaked havoc on the city. The company helped raise awareness of the need to cut back and be more efficient in electricity consumption.
In the 80s, all wooden utility poles were gradually replaced with concrete ones, adding value to the different sectors of the city and greater safety for its residents.
The company was reaching an increasingly larger scope of influence, which implied strengthening the presence of distribution networks. Underground networks were also being created and played an important role in the development of emblematic pedestrian streets and public spaces, and the company was also present in the lighting of some of the city's emblematic architectural symbols.
Likewise, over the years it focused on its commitment to the community and sustainability, developing social projects to benefit the residents in its concessions zone. This led to initiatives such as the lighting of sports fields, the Enel Cup tournament, educational and prevention campaigns such as safe kites and safe Christmas, educational talks and workshops coordinated with homeowners’ associations and municipalities, etc.
Enel Electricity Museum
The Victoria building where the Enel Electricity Museum is located was built in 1909, and not only has a long history but also played an important strategic role in the Santiago electrical distribution system during the 20th century.
The Victoria substation played a key role in the electrical supply for the city's modernization process, contributing energy to transform street lighting and the operation of the first electrical trolleys, which started their route at the building next to the Enel Electricity Museum.
The museum displays the different and diverse changes experienced by Santiago throughout the past 100 years, providing evidence of transformations and the decisive role that electricity played in this process, as well as the contributions of thousands of citizens and anonymous workers in this history of urban modernization.
Photographic archive at Enel Distribucion
Enel Distribucion has a photo archive composed of more than 20,000 perfectly conserved images, many of which are over 80 years old, making it the most complete graphic record of the Santiago modernization process during the early 20th century.
This initiative has implied great conservation efforts by the company, which has worked hard to recover and preserve the city's historical heritage and how the company itself, through the provision of energy distribution services, has been involved in this process and integrated into the community.
The valuable images have allowed for the publication of a number of collection books. The photographic archive is currently open to the community at the National Library.