Dominican Republic green-lights 100MW PV installation

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According to IRENA, the Dominican PV landscape surpassed the 160MW installed capacity mark last year (Credit: Flickr / Antonio Castagna)

One of the largest PV projects seen to date in the Dominican Republic has secured the planning nod, heralding a significant boost of nation-wide installed capacity.

A 100MW installation planned at Villarpando, in the Caribbean nation’s southwest, was signed off on Monday by national energy regulator CNE.

The watchdog took to Twitter to explain the solar project will require over US$110 million in investment but save the country, in turn, US$30 million worth of oil imports.

The developer, Natural World Energy Corporation, started exploring the feasibility of the project in June 2016, submitting its planning application in April 2017.

The scheme is set to generate 70 permanent jobs, plus a further 400 during construction. A project with a 25-year lifespan, its supply will cover the needs of 195,000 households, CNE said.

The path to 85% renewables by 2035

This week’s contract signing reflects, CNE said, the will of Dominican president Danilo Medina to promote investments in renewable energies.

Should it complete with its planned 100MW size, the installation at Villarpando would bring a marked boost to the Dominican PV scene. Installed capacity stood at 166MW last year, according to IRENA.

The Caribbean state – working towards an 85% renewable target by 2035 – started laying down plans for PV projects in the earlier 2010s.

Projects unveiled since include a 116MW PV scheme, reportedly the Caribbean’s largest, a 1.5MW airport installation, a 25MW park in Barahona and a 361MW pipeline of solar and wind.

Others now look set to follow. Last updated this year, a government map shows various PV projects are progressing through the planning process, with most sitting in the 10MW-60MW capacity range.

See here for more information on the new Dominican PV project

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