Gauss Energía has announced the beginning of construction on a 61 MW solar PV project which it is developing in Southern Honduras. Isolux Corsán is providing engineering, procurement and construction services for the Aura Solar II, which it expects to complete in the middle of 2015.
When complete, the plant will comprise roughly 200,000 multicrystalline silicon PV modules, over an area of 150 hectares in the region of Choluteca. Gauss notes that Choluteca has some of the strongest natural conditions for solar in Central America, with an average radiation of 5.5 kWh per square meter per day.
Aura Solar II will represent a total investment of US$120 million. This includes private investment from Mexico and Honduras, with financing from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Bancomext and German development bank KfW’s German Investment and Development Company (DEG). The project is also supported by Honduras’ National Electricity Company (ENEE), with which it holds a 20-year power purchase agreement.
This is the second piece of big project news to come out of Honduras this week, following SunEdison’s announcement that it had secured funding for 82 MW of PV projects in the nation.
Honduras has been a hotbed for PV project development in Central America, with a pipeline of over 600 MW of solar projects according to GTM Research’s Latin America PV Playbook, notes GTM Research Solar Analyst Adam James.
Developers have been drawn to the market by the lucrative per megawatt hour bonus payment offered to the first 400 MW of projects to begin commercial operation, as well as an attractive set of tax incentives.