Pinar del Río committed to the use of solar energy

Granma | Monday, 25 January 2016 | Click here for original article

PINAR DEL RÍO.— The Cuban electric company in Pinar del Río will begin construction on a second photovoltaic power station, or solar farm, this year.

With a generating capacity of 2.2 MWp (megawatt peak), the facility will be located in El Cafetal, in the municipality of San Luis.

According to Michel Casal, director of investments at the company, the works will extend across an area of four hectares and will provide energy directly to the National Electric System (SEN).

Casal explained that the location was chosen after a series of studies were undertaken, due to its proximity to the El Cafetal electrical substation, which will help prevent transmission losses.

The official noted that it currently costs the country more than 100 CUC (Cuban convertible pesos) to generate one MW of power using fossil fuels. Therefore, in addition to the positive environmental impact, the new solar farm will have a significant economic effect, as 2.2 MW of power will be generated for every hour of sun.

“This means the return on investment is very fast,” Casal said, adding that the first photovoltaic power station in Vueltabajo, in the municipality of Pinar del Río, which began operations about a year ago, has already generated over three gigawatts of energy, reducing carbon emissions by approximately 1,000 tons.

Given these results, the official stressed the intention to establish similar facilities in all the municipalities of Pinar del Río, as part of a strategy to diversify the country's energy system.

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