Construction has begun on a 61MW solar power plant in Honduras.

The project is being developed by Gauss Energia and is called ‘Aura Solar II’ and is scheduled to be fully operating by mid 2015.

Aura Solar II will help reduce fossil fuel use, spanning 150 hectares in Choluteca, south Honduras, making the most of high solar resources of up to 5.5kWh per meter squared a day.

Around 200,000 polycrystalline modules are to be installed, generating approximately 125GWh a year.

Aura Solar II requires investment of US$120 million, which is being provided by Mexican and Honduran private investment, also funding from the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), the state owned Mexican bank, Bancomext, and German development bank, DEG.

Power is to be supplied to Honduras’ state utility, National Electric Energy (ENEE) with a congress approved support agreement and a 20 year Power Purchase Agreement.

Construction firm, Isolux Corsán has already begun construction of Aura Solar II and will also oversee its operation.

The 61MW solar power plant is part of the ‘Aura Solar Initiative’, which has so far utility-scale solar developments in Mexico and is now shifting focus to Honduras. The Aura Solar I project in Baja California Sur, Mexico, was developed under the iniative.

Daniel Servitje, chairman for the Aura Solar Initiative, said: “We have a huge responsibility in the search for new energy sources that are friendly to the environment and at the same time, meet the challenges of competitiveness and energy security must confront the future generations.”

Guass Eenrgia has already structured 300MW of renewable energy contracts in Mexico, using local knowledge of the regulatory structure.

Yesterday global solar developer, SunEdison, closed a US$146 million debt facility to build 81.7MW of solar also in Honduras.

According to analysis by IHS this September, Honduras is set to lead a 1.5GW surge in Central America PV installations up to 2018.

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