Archive for the ‘Solar’ Category

By Alex Leff
Tico Times Staff | aleff@ticotimes.net

A new Costa Rican solar power plan will see the light of day thanks to an approximately $9 million gift from Japan, officials from both countries said this week.

The “Project to Introduce Clean Energy through Solar Electrical Generation,” proposed last year by the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), will enable Costa Rica to have its first solar power plant, which officials expect will help steer Costa Rica closer to its goal of carbon neutrality by the year 2021.

The first phase of the plan is called the “Miravalles Solar Project,” which will join ICE geothermal and wind power plant in Miravalles, in the northwest province of Guanacaste. ICE officials said the state-run institute has enough land there to install a micro solar generator capable of cranking out 400 kilowatts, which will help provide electricity for rural communities in the region.

Phase 2 of the plan – the “Solar Sabana Pilot Project” – will be built at the ICE headquarters in the western San José neighborhood of Sabana Norte. Workers will install solar panels on the institute’s high-rise building to “show residents of the greater metropolitan area the possibilities offered by solar energy,” according to a statement from ICE.

The institute has not set a date for these projects to start, as both phases are pending final details of the donation, ICE said.

Costa Rican Foreign Ministry officials expressed gratitude for the donation from the “nation of the rising sun,” Japan.

“This cooperation will allow us to achieve 100 percent use of clean, renewable energy, reducing part of our carbon emissions, with the goal of being the first developing country to become carbon neutral by the year 2021,” Costa Rican Foreign Minister Bruno Stagno said at the signing ceremony.

The donation comes through Japan’s Cool Earth Partnership, which is a $10 billion program to “cooperate actively with developing countries’ efforts to reduce emissions, such as efforts to enhance energy efficiency,” according to the program’s Web site.

“I hope through our cooperation that friendly nations such as Costa Rica can have access to technologies developed in Japan to combat climate change and achieve their objectives,” said Japanese Ambassador to Costa Rica Hidekazu Yamaguchi, who signed the agreement Tuesday along with Stagno.

Renewable energy – whether through hydroelectric, geothermal or wind power – makes up 94.6 percent of the total energy generated for Costa Rican consumption, according to Roger Carvajal, director of ICE’s Corporate University Division.


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By Megan Treacy

While the BLM is facing a virtual clog of large, desert-based solar project proposals, smaller, distributed solar projects are popping up at an impressive rate. In just the past few weeks, 1,300 MW worth of these projects have been announced or approved, which could equal about the same energy output of a big nuclear power plant.

The larger, more ambitious solar power plans have many environmental and land-use hurdles to clear, while these smaller plans, set to occupy commercial and residential rooftops, areas near electrical substations and urban areas, don’t have the same obstacles in their way. Also, the smaller projects are cheaper, meaning more utilities can afford to implement them as they’re scrambling to meet renewable energy mandates.

Arno Harris, the CEO of Recurrent Energy, a company that has signed a contract with Southern California Edison for 50 MW of small-scale solar, summed it up like this:

“Distributed solar is faster on permitting, on environmental issues and interconnection to the grid. It offers a safety valve for utilities who don’t want to put all their eggs in one basket.”

The projects, anywhere from 50 to 500 MW each, are mainly concentrated in California, though New York Power Authority is planning 100 MW installation around the state as well.

via Green Inc.

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