Originally published on Solar Love.
Solarcentury has teamed up with Colombian company Hybrytec to build the country’s largest solar PV roof system, atop Exito’s Barranquilla store.
Solarcentury is one of the oldest solar companies in the world, and Hybrytec is a Colombian company leading the local solar energy market, with 7 years experience and over 140 projects successfully completed across the country. The two companies managed the whole development process of the record-breaking rooftop solar project, from initial design through to construction and on to operation and maintenance.
The resulting 507 kW rooftop solar installation is the largest in Colombia, covers 6,300 square metres, and is made up of 2,070 solar panels. The solar installation is set to reduce the Exito Barranquilla store’s annual energy bills by about 24%, and will reduce carbon emissions by about 23o tonnes per year.
“As a local company, we have a deep understanding of the local solar market and are therefore well placed to work with businesses to help them benefit from solar,” explained Camilo Jaramillo, CEO at Hybrytec. “We believe there is a huge growing awareness of the opportunity for solar in Colombia to help meet ever-increasing demands for power and also help businesses cut their energy bills. We look forward to working with Solarcentury on more solar projects, in Colombia and the wider region. We share a common long-term shareholder, Grupo ECOS, which brings stability and consistency to our working relationship and contributes to the success of our projects.”
The project has been up and running since November 2014, but is only now getting the praise worthy of such a big first step for Latin American countries. Specifically, the solar rooftop is generating electricity for the store’s lighting, air conditioning, and refrigeration, which increases the efficiency of the solar system by reducing distribution-grid losses.
“Once the cost of the system has been paid, Exito will enjoy completely free solar energy to power the supermarket over the expected lifetime of 30–40 years,” said Jose Miguel Ferrer, Head of Business Development for Latin America at Solarcentury. “Cutting energy bills by about a quarter for this period is an attractive prospect for any business. We will continue to work closely with Hybrytec to help more businesses reduce their energy bills and cut carbon emissions.”
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