Panama’s Social Security Fund seeks to invest in solar

“My proposal of self disposal for the Caja de Seguro Social (CSS) in my presentation was: solar panels to finance the risk of the IVM and EM programs.” This was written by Alfredo Martiz, the general director of Panama’s social security fund CSS, the government-run entity that manages the country’s social security system, on his twitter account.

Mariz’s idea is to build a large-scale solar plant on CSS’land in Casa Mar, in the north of the country, which is well connected to the power system. “Self disposal is important, our assets are at risk of becoming liabilities. We have to understand this,” Martiz concluded.

The income from power production at the future solar facility would be used to finance the pension program Invalidez, Vejez y Muerte (IVM) and the social program Enfermedad y Maternidad (EM), which provides health care to around 70% of the country’s population.

According to local press, the CSS has been suffering from financial problems for at least a decade, and is also having issues with the provision of key pharmaceuticals as well as with maintenance of its various infrastructure.

According to Panama’s regulator Autoridad de los Servicios Públicos (ASEP), Panama reached 89 MW of cumulative installed PV capacity at the end of last year. In 2016, seven PV plants ranging in size from 500 kW and 10 MW were connected to the grid in the country.

Furthermore, the government of Panama is supporting residential and commercial PV through a net metering scheme.