Aug 28 2013
Solar panels from SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer for more than 35 years, now power the largest solar-electric installation in the Caribbean nation of Dominican Republic. The 1.5-megawatt solar array sits near the runway of Cibao International Airport, the country’s third largest airport.
The system, a complete solar solution featuring SolarWorld’s high-quality solar panels and proprietary racking, generates enough clean energy to support about half of the airport’s energy needs.
In late July, Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina and Felix Garcia, the president of the airport’s Board of Directors, presided over the plant’s commissioning. In a statement released July 23, Enrique Ramirez, president of the national commission of energy, called the solar project one of the largest and most ambitious in Latin America.
“As a company with business ties to Latin America dating back more than 30 years, SolarWorld has long understood that solar power is an essential part of the region’s energy mix,” said Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas. “For island nations like Dominican Republic, solar offers a clean and cost-effective solution to dependence on expensive imported oil for power generation.”
The project was developed and installed by Dominican-based Trace Solar SRL within the framework of the country’s renewable energy laws, which use tax incentives and net metering to encourage solar deployment. Trace collaborated with SolarWorld’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) division to design the system, which is composed of 5,880 SolarWorld Sunmodule solar panels mounted atop the company’s Sunfix Ground Mount racking. The array is expected to generate 193,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity every month. According to government estimates, this rate translates to a monthly savings of about 1,240 barrels of oil.
SolarWorld has supplied solar panels, mounting solutions and complete solar systems for both on- and off-grid applications to customers in Latin America since the late 1970s. Through its Solar2World program, which supports community rural-electrification projects in developing economies, SolarWorld has also donated panels to hospitals, medical clinics and water-treatment facilities in Haiti, Peru, Mexico and Honduras.