Category Archives: El Salvador

El Salvador Solar PV

Until recently there were only off-grid PV systems and a limited number of on-grid systems for self-consumption in El Salvador; most of them in government buildings, schools and universities.

By the end of 2015 the largest PV system in operation was 99 kW.

In October of that year AES Moncagua PV plant, with an investment of US$ 4 million and 2.5 MW, was inaugurated.

Resultado de imagen de fotovoltaica aes moncagua

This solar plant located in San Miguel is directly connected to Electric Company of East (EEO) distribution network for later supply.

At present, it is under construction that will be the largest solar power generation plant in the country, with 100 MW of installed capacity.

It will be located in Rosario de La Paz, La Paz department, in an area of 150 blocks, a few kilometers from Monsignor Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport.

The project, totaling US$ 151 million, will be financed by an IDB loan of US$ 57.7 million, a co-loan from the Canadian Private Sector Climate Fund of the Americas of US$ 30 million and co-loan of a French Development Agency subsidiary of US $ 30 million.

The winning company Providencia Solar S.A. de C.V., a company incorporated in El Salvador for the sole purpose of the project developing, is owned by an independent French renewable energy producer.

At the end of June 2016 the first solar module was installed and construction began.

Initial forecasts estimate that it will be injecting power in April 2017 after 11 months of construction and an additional test perform month.

Resultado de imagen de providencia solar s.a. de c.v

Solar Reserve and La Trinidad projects (also of 2014 bid) would add 28 MW.

During January 2017, another 169.9 MW of renewable energy were awarded, of which 50 MW will be from wind energy and 119.9 MW from photovoltaic generation.

There were 29 proposals (4 of wind generation and the rest of photovoltaic).

The offers were in response to a tender launched by the country for 170 MW of renewable energy (initially 100 MW of solar and 70 MW of wind).

The bidding rules leave a construction period of 3 years for wind projects and 2 years for solar.

Tomorrow 25th of January will be official notification date and contracts will be signed between January 31st and March 27th.

There were 4 solar winning proposals for this tender.

A company combining French and Salvadoran capital was awarded 50 MW at a unit price of US$ 49.55 / MWh and another 50 MW at US$ 49.56 / MWh. The solar plant, with an estimated investment of US$ 150 million, will be located in Ozatlán, Usulután.

In addition, 10 MW of solar generation were awarded to an offer at US$ 67.24 / MWh and 9.9 MW to another offer at US$ 54.98 / MWh.

Allocation to solar projects exceeded the 100 MW expected because wind energy supply offers did not reach the initially installed capacity required.

Solar energy wherever you are with Sopelia.

El Salvador Solar Thermal

Great was our surprise when we began to carry out the research work on El Salvador domestic solar thermal energy applications sector.

Considering that in country central region solar irradiation is high (5.3 kWh/m2/day), compared with other locations such as Germany or Tokyo (3.3 kWh/m2/day), the potential is enormous.

Given the almost non-existent information available (and official agencies lack of response), we decided to consult professionals and companies in the renewable energy sector of El Salvador.

The conclusions are:

1) There are very few companies that offer solar thermal equipment (some, including inventory they wish to liquidate due to low sales volume)

2) Unfortunately local mentality still focuses more on initial investment than on long-term savings from electricity consumption expenditure reduction

3) The use is practically limited to hotel and hospital sectors and is irrelevant in residential sector

4) There is no normative that regulates and promotes sector development.

Resultado de imagen de solar térmica el salvador

This situation, which is repeated in many Latin American countries with solar resource great potential, raises the question of why solar thermal development is so inferior in relation to photovoltaics.

To answer this question we will make a brief comparison between both solar technologies:

– Domestic solar thermal applications

+ It is a simpler technology

+ It is more efficient respect to the space used

+ Higher yields are obtained (around 40% for solar collectors compared to maximum 20% of solar modules)

+ Solar fraction can easily exceed 70% in locations with medium-high radiation level

+ It is a technology with lower level of complexity in its installation

Aspects to consider:

* System performance is much lower in winter months, when hot water needs are higher

* If there is frost risk in system site, antifreeze use in heat transfer fluid is indispensable.

Resultado de imagen de solar térmica el salvador

– Photovoltaic solar energy applications

+ Photovoltaic systems are more versatile

+ Photovoltaic modules have longer service life (30 years with a guarantee of 20 years by almost all manufacturers) than thermal solar collectors (10 years with between 1 to 5 years guarantee)

+ Frost does not affect them

Aspects to consider:

* Higher investment compared to solar thermal system of equivalent power

* Grid connected systems are subject to numerous bureaucratic procedures and taxes that lengthen its amortization time

* It is a newer technology that needs technical advances to improve its performance and efficiency.

We can conclude that the balance is slightly tilted in favor of solar thermal.

So, why photovoltaics development is bigger?

The answer is that solar thermal is developed almost exclusively in distributed energy generation way, while solar photovoltaic does it mainly from large central power plants.

Solar energy wherever you are with Sopelia.

Solar El Salvador

In the central region of El Salvador solar irradiation is high (5.3 kWh / m2 / day) compared to other locations such as Germany or Tokyo (3.3 kWh / m2 / day).

The solar irradiation map in El Salvador was created under the SWERA project, which shows the solar irradiation potential in a one year daily average.

Resultado de imagen de energía solar el salvador

In last years the country began to work in the energy matrix diversification introducing renewable sources participation.

According National Energy Council figures at the end of 2015 the country had an installed capacity of 1,659.6 MW. Of these, about 46% is thermal generation (fossil fuel), 28.5% is hydroelectric, 12.3% is geothermal and 13.6% is generated from biomass.

In March 2015, from a partnership between a Taiwanese company and a local oil group emerged a Salvadoran company that set up a solar panel and LED light production plant.

The plant is located in San Juan Opico and becomes the first high-tech devices assemble plant in El Salvador.

In October 2015, Legislature approved Fiscal Incentives Law reforms to promote renewable energy use, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve national payments balance through fossil fuels imports reduction.

The reform affects 4 articles of the Law and is specified in:

– Inclusion of marine and biogas renewable sources, adding them to those already specified in article 1 (hydro, geothermal, wind, solar, biomass)

– Elimination of 20 MW limitation to be subject of tariff duties payment exemption for 10 years

– 5 years income tax exemption for more than 10 MW projects, maintaining 10 years term for equal or less than 10 MW projects.

In addition, it extends deadlines for SIGET to decide on project certification and the Ministry of Finance to issue tax benefits agreement to 45 business days.

Also included expansion of existing renewable generation plants as eligible projects.

In February 2016 DELSUR Electricity Distributor and regulators announced a new bidding process for 150 MW of wind and solar photovoltaic generation for 20 years from 2019.

This process begins with participatory consultation phase so that everyone can access bidding rules and make comments they deem necessary.

The resulting document must be approved by SIGET and then made available to potential bidders.

It is estimated that this new renewable energy projects bidding process will generate an investment of around U$D 300 million over the next two years and will be able to supply 250,000 households demand.

This is the second bidding process carried out for projects with these technologies installation and generated energy in the wholesale market commercialization.

Resultado de imagen de energía solar el salvador

The first process culminated successfully with 94 MW of photovoltaic technology award, which will start supplying in 2017.

The process will be coordinated by DELSUR, with the support of the rest of the country’s electricity distributors, governmental and private entities, among others.

The development of high temperature solar thermal systems has also been considered.

Studies indicate that the potential of this type of energy is high in El Salvador and, although the initial investment cost is still high, there are future development plans for concentrated solar energy.

Solar energy wherever you are with Sopelia.