The storage system installed in Costa Rica is the second established in Central America.
- CINDE photo -
Published Monday, December 28, 2020
$2 million-valued solar panels
plant installed in Costa Rica
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
The companies Proquinal and Swissol, inaugurated the largest storage solar energy panel area in the country.
Swissol was founded in 1999 by Switzerland citizen Reto Rechsteiner, who was a designer of solar systems in his country and the Technical Director of the Solar Program of the Swiss Foundation for Technical Development, known as Swisscontact, based in Costa Rica, between 1994 - 1998.
According to Rechsteiner, for this type of lithium battery system used in the solar panels project, “worldwide, there are only a few companies that can offer equipment of this magnitude."
The panels, valued as a $2 million investment, were developed at the Proquinal headquarters in Coyol Canton, Alajuela Province. They’re installed in a covered parking lot with 690 solar panels. The captured energy is subsequently stored in an innovative battery system, the only of its kind in Costa Rica, according to the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency, CINDE.
This system allows for the implementation of 4.3 MWh (1.5 MW Peak) in storage capacity, through lithium batteries that are charged mainly during the night rate, which has a lower cost, and with the intermediate rate known as “the valley.” The solar panels allow for the generation of 255 KW.
This stored energy is delivered to the production process at the Proquinal plant, during the two peak periods or the period of the highest demand, which range from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and again from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. These periods represent the times when the cost of energy is highest.
The electricity purchased from public sources during peak periods is 4.5 times more expensive than the night rate. This system will aid the company in saving approximately $41,000 per month, which allows for a return on investment over a period of 4.3 years, the agency said in its statement.
The solar panels project was started in 2017 and was developed by two companies, Swissol and Rolls Royce, which is a British-German firm in charge of providing the latest generation batteries and the software that monitors the entire system.
This project represents an important private-sector contribution toward Costa Rica's efforts to decarbonize its economy officially confirmed by the Government Carbon Neutrality Program 2.0, which proposes a goal of 100% renewable energy.
According to CINDE, the storage system installed in Costa Rica is the second established in Central America. Nicaragua’s Corn Island offers the only other of similar size; it supplies 100% of electricity needs for the island’s 8,500 inhabitants, year-round.
What other site in Costa Rica would be useful to install a solar panel project? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org