On Wednesday the government of the Dominican Republic celebrated the beginning of work on a 30 MW solar project by Germany's Soventix in the province of Monte Plata. The full project will consist of two stages, each 30 MW.
Soventix plans to put this first 30 MW stage into operation in February 2016. The project consists of 120,000 PV modules and 1000 inverters, each 30 kW in capacity.
The project will allow savings of an estimated US$250 million in imported fossil fuels. Like many island nations, electricity generation in the Dominican Republic is highly dependent upon imported oil and gas, which results in high and unpredictable prices.
The governments of Taiwan and The Netherlands provided assistance for the project, and a ceremony for the beginning of work was attended by Dutch and Tiawanese ambassadors. This ceremony was led by Dominican Vice-Minister of Energy Ernesto Vilalta.
To date few megawatt-scale solar projects have been built in the Dominican Republic. Among the larger projects in the nation are a 1.5 MW project in the El Ciabao Airport and a 1.5 MW project which provides electricity to cement maker Cemex.
However, other island nations in the Caribbean have been rapidly adopting solar PV. According to the latest report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Guadeloupe, Martinique and Puerto Rico had each installed at least 60 MW of solar PV by the end of 2014.
Translation and additional reporting by Christian Roselund