Neoenergia’s energy providers are using art as a strategy to raise
population’s awareness, to reduce cases of vandalism and to prevent accidents in
their substations. An example is the new Guarujá 04 Substation, belonging to Elektro, an energy provider on the coast of São Paulo.
A 155-m long mural was installed for graffiti interventions on the importance
of energy, and with tips on safety and savings. The action was conducted by a
couple of artists, Wilis and Leila Cavalcante, who live in the place and teach
visual arts to approximately 100 teenagers in a social project they maintain
with the income from works like this one.
The initiative has already
been adopted by other providers of the company in the Northeast: Coelba (BA), Celpe (PE) and Cosern (RN). Artistic interventions are being set in
the following new substations: Três Lagoas, belonging to Elektro, in Mato Grosso do Sul; São Lourenço, belonging
to Celpe; and Juazeiro 4, belonging to Coelba.
"Our purpose to implement
graffiti is to inhibit vandalism, such as scrawling graffiti, in addition to
improving network safety by raising awareness of safety habits, showing that
the population should not jump walls or fly kites close to electricity networks.
Our experience in the Northeast and now in the Guarujá 04 substation has
already shown that, with nicer and more colorful walls, the community feels
more engaged and we achieve a better result in partnership with the
residents", says Neoenergia’s Manager of Expansion of Substations, José
The artists responsible for the
mural installed in the Guarujá 04 substation agree that artistic intervention
has the advantage of building a bridge with the community and represents a
social benefit. “We noticed the positive interaction of the
residents with the mural from the very beginning of the work. People stopped,
praised the mural and took photos. With art, the place is no longer seen only
as the substation because the community feels they are part of it, and this
helps prevent, for example, garbage dumping. At times, we brought some students
from the community to check the intervention, and they were proud of it. Also, a
student who lives across the street from the substation said she was proud to
have this art in the community”, says Leila Cavalcante.
The Guarujá 04 substation is
located in the Cantagalo community, the living place of part of the students
she and her partner Wilis teach at the Asas Institute's School of Visual Arts.
In the social project, the couple offers free graffiti training for low-income
teenagers aged 12 to 17 years who live in the communities of the region. “Our work out on the streets and in the courses manages
to survive thanks to companies that believe in art. The mural we made for
Elektro is also a social work that values artists and brings the community
closer. It adds value”, states
The mural has six panels with
illustrations and sentences that raise awareness about the danger of energy
theft, energy efficiency, safety in buildings, risks of entering the substation
without a permit, the importance of energy and a warning to avoid areas near
the electric networks when flying kites.
The intervention was carried out
in March, two months after the substation started operating. The new plant has
a capacity of 33 MVA, distributed in five feeders of 13.8 kV, and has GIS
technology (Gas Insulated Substation), which increases its efficiency, in
addition to an automated system for remote operation by Elektro's Distribution
Operation Center (COD), in Campinas (SP). With the delivery, the energy
available to more than 100,000 customers was expanded. During the preparation
of the mural, a health and safety protocol was adopted for prevention of Covid-19,
with the mandatory use of masks and distancing.
Similar initiatives are being
carried out in substations in three states of the Northeast. “We have had
positive experiences in several formats, either by hiring local artists as we
did in Guarujá, or by providing materials for the community itself to carry out
the interventions. In all of them, we got greater people awareness and, as a
consequence, more safety”, explains José Ferraz.