Nicaragua’s Ministry of Energy and Mines has started construction on a 1.38MW project in the west of the country. The solar farm, located 12km from the city of Diriamba, will be partly funded by the Japanese, with an investment of US$12 million. According to Nicaraguan newspaper El Nuavo Diario, the PV installation will become the largest in Central America.
The project, due for completion in November 2012, will be managed by the central government through a partnership between the Diriamba municipality and the Ministry of Energy and Mines. The solar array will consist of 534 panels and deliver enough clean energy to power 1,200 homes in rural Diriamba.
There have been suggestions that the Nicaraguan rainy season, which lasts from May to November, will impede the generating capacity of the modules. Chief engineer on the project Marvin Gonzalez said that power will be stored in batteries to meet supply demand. He added, “We are currently in the process of building infrastructure, perimeter walls, terraces, gabions, system administration offices and facilities.”
It is hoped the PV installation will produce profits of US$100,000 to fund social community projects, whilst also reducing the area’s reliance on thermal energy.
Project developers apparently have their sights on future solar projects for the country, currently evaluating a huge 50.5MW solar farm that would cover 57 acres of land.