The solar plant at Monte Plata has been officially inaugurated in the presence of the President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina. It is the largest such project in the Caribbean and was designed and developed by Dubai-based solar power developer Phanes Group working with General Energy Solutions (GES) and Soventix. The plant consists of 132,000 solar panels, triple the number of panels previously deployed across the country. Completion of Phase Two of the project by the end of 2016 will see the total capacity of the plant increase to 67 MW, generating 50,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of solar power per year and helping to increase the overall solar output of the country fivefold by the end of 2016.
The project created more than 300 direct jobs and 1,000 indirect jobs during its development and construction, with the majority of those being local to Monte Plata.
“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 Phanes Group. “With much of the Caribbean challenged by expensive fuel imports, solar has the ability to liberate these island nations from economic and energy dependency, increasing energy security and reducing greenhouse gas emissions while helping elevate communities.”
Mr Haupts added that Phanes Group is delighted to have played a central role in delivering the project. Inadequate power supply has been a bottleneck for the Dominican Republic’s economic development thus far, with reliance on fuel imports driving prohibitively high electricity prices. Government-led power subsidy programmes total over $1 billion annually in foregone income and high transmission and distribution losses in the country’s ageing grid system consistently exceed 30 percent. The nation has spent over $4 billion annually on fossil fuel imports to run petroleum, coal and natural gas power plants in the past few years.
The Monte Plata project is the first to be completed by the Phanes Group in the Caribbean. It expects to have an installed global base of 500 MW of solar by 2018.
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