Panamas installed solar PV capacity has reached a cumulative total of 43 MW. According to a report by the Public Service Authority of Panama (ASEP), at the end of last year there were a total of 7 utility-scale solar PV plants in operation in the Central American nation.
At this level, Panama is behind other Central American PV markets like Honduras and Guatemala, however it confirms the growth trend for solar PV in the region. Last year, Central Americas installed PV capacity surpassed 500 MW.
According to ASEPs report, solar represents 1.42% of Panamas electricity generation capacity, however its contribution to the generation mix was only 0.17% in 2015. Panamas total generation capacity is around 3 GW.
At the end of 2015, four solar plants larger than 10 MW were in operation in Panama, as well as various smaller plants.
These plants include a project of Italys Enel Green Power, another by the UKs Solarcentury, an initiative of the company Llano de Sánchez and the Farallón 2 project.
According to ASEP, the other projects are a 2.4 MW pilot project in Sarigua, which was inaugurated in 2014, a ground-mounted project around 1 MW which will supply electricity to National Sugar, and an installation around 100 kW in capacity.
The large majority of these PV installations were completed in the last year. Since 2013 the Solar Energy Law has been in effect in Chile, which provides tax incentives for PV installations and establishes specific auctions for solar PV. In the first solicitation, which was completed last year, around 66 MW of projects were awarded.
?Currently, ASEP has provided either definitive or provisional licenses to more than 1 GW of PV projects.
This article was translated by Christian Roselund. For the original in Spanish, please see the pv magazine Latinoamérica website.