As previously announced, Power Analytics and its partner Wizard Engineering International Corp. will be working with the USTDA and Parque City Panama on a feasibility study. Click here to see the announcement and here for more information on the project’s purpose.
The objective of the Arco Seco Solar Power Project is to support the development of a 39.6 MW solar photovoltaic project in central Panama. The Arco Seco Solar Power Project is expected to be among the first utility-scale solar projects in Panama.
This project will help Panama meet growing demand for electricity. Although the number of solar PV installations in Panama is low, capacity is expected to increase quickly in coming years, consistent with an attractive solar resource in the country and governmental policy (through tax exemption and other incentives) to promote solar PV. The Panama government has made expanding renewable energy capacity a policy priority, and have eliminated transmission and distribution charges and provided tax incentives.
The solar PV plant design enables the reduction of fossil plant emissions such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides which, as various studies have concluded, will reduce harm to the local environment and human health. The solar plant will also reduce carbon emissions by reducing the need to burn oil to meet peaking demand. It is expected that the Project could avoid about 14,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually in phase I, and about 58,000 tons per year once all phases are complete.
Previous analysis developed by the Grantee shows that the project is economically justified. The outcome of the project feasibility study would validate that the solar resource in the project area could generate sufficient annual capacity and energy, therein justifying the potential investment Internal Rate of Return (IRR) and/or Return on Investment (ROI).
The Project would increase the U.S. exports to Panama. Solar panels will make up most of the potential exports. The Project will also help Panama meet its growing demand for electricity in a way that is consistent with its goal of increasing renewable generation. The Project’s addition of up to 40MW of renewable capacity, that will generate electricity during daytime peak hours, will contribute towards meeting the total demand of the country. Meeting this demand with solar PV, rather than diesel or HFO-fired peaking plants, will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 58,000 tons annually. Increasing dependence on solar, rather than on diesel and HFO. The Project itself will be resilient to the effects of climate change, and its local environmental impact will be small and generally limited to the construction phase.