The Caribbean’s largest solar power array was recently launched in the Dominican Republic. It was designed and installed by the Phanes Group.
“This project is a demonstration of how multiple stakeholders can work together to co-develop solar projects that are viable and bankable in emerging markets – successfully delivering access to energy and unlocking huge economic opportunities for remote communities,” said Martin Haupts, CEO of the Phanes Group.
More than 130,000 solar panels were installed for the project, and over 1,000 jobs were created, both directly and indirectly. There is a second phase of the project which will increase the site’s total capacity to 67 MW, and it is due for completion at the end of 2016. When finished, the whole project is expected to generate 50,000 megawatt hours of electricity each year.
The Dominican Republic spends billions on imported fossil fuels to burn in power plants for electricity generation. Rather than continuing to do that, it makes more economic sense to invest in local renewable electricity production.
Fortunately, the Dominican Republic has enough sunlight to pursue solar power development in a fruitful manner, “There is strong solar potential across the country, with average global horizontal irradiance (GHI) generally ranging from 210 to 250 watts per square meter (W/m2 ), comparable with the potential of the U.S. Southwest and superior to other well-positioned areas, such as the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.” Wind resources are available in the country as well.
These conditions will help the country transition from a dependence on imported fossil fuels to a clean electricity and not having to send so much money out of the country. There’s a tendency to assume the only value for solar power is that it’s better for the environment, but in some cases it has economic benefits as well.
The Phanes Group is a solar energy developer and investment manager located in Dubai. According to the company’s website, it has installed about 70 MW of solar power systems so far. That total is expected to grow to 500 MW by 2018.
Image Credits: Phanes Group
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