Solarcentury connects unsubsidised solar farm in Panama4/2/2016
Solar project constructed for Panama-based Latin American investor ECOSolar
Solarcentury has connected one of the biggest solar farm in Panama connected to the spot market, in Coclé province, central Panama. The 9.9 MWp ‘Divisa Solar’ system is one of the first solar farms in Panama to be connected to the country’s national grid, and is now generating enough clean solar electricity to power around 3000 homes. By adding clean solar energy to the national grid, the system is preventing the release of more than 4,850 tons of CO2 annually.
Divisa Solar has been built and connected at a time when many countries around the world are looking to cleaner energy sources, such as solar, to meet the carbon reduction commitments pledged at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference. Adding clean solar electricity to Panama’s energy grid will not only help to meet Panama’s growing energy demand, but it will also reduce the country’s carbon emissions since solar electricity offsets the need to burn carbon-intensive fossil fuels.
Frans van den Heuvel commented, “Bringing our vast engineering expertise and management experience, and strong health and safety record, to build one of Panama’s very first solar farms has been an insightful experience for Solarcentury in this nascent solar market. The project’s success has been enabled by Solarcentury’s almost 20 years in the solar industry, together with our positive working relationship with ECOSolar and the local contractors – 90% of those involved in the project were Panamanian.
That solar projects such as Divisa Solar are possible without subsidy clearly underscores the opportunity for solar in Panama. As more and more countries around the world reach grid parity, solar becomes even more economically viable.”
Divisa Solar has gained ‘permanent status’ (COD) which certifies that the system is fully operational and in accordance with the Centro Nacional de Despacho (CND), Panama’s grid operator. In addition, Divisa Solar is the first project that has fulfilled all the requirements of the Panamanian Photovoltaic regulation.
Alberto Rabanal, CEO at ECOSolar stated, “ECOSolar is very proud to be a front runner in the development of large scale solar plants in Panama, with the development of Divisa Solar. This solar farm was financed through a non-recourse loan from the Inter-American Development Bank and is selling 100% of its generated electricity to the Panamanian spot market. ECOSolar has positioned itself as a go-to investor for solar projects and its technical knowledge, ability to form alliances and work with experts, have contributed to the success of this large scale solar PV plant.
Solarcentury’s engineering expertise and experience of installing solar, particularly at large scale, offered us a great investment opportunity. Through the Divisa project, we are able to fulfil our mission to make Latin America’s energy landscape become greener, cleaner and more accessible for all.”
Solarcentury was selected by investor ECOSolar to engineer, procure, and construct (EPC) the solar farm, and the company is also responsible for the operations and maintenance for the next two years.
See here for a video of the project. Commentary is in Spanish.