Cuba inaugurates 10 MW of solar capacity with help of Abu Dhabi loans


The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has inaugurated 10 MW of solar generation capacity in Cuba part funded by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD).

The projects, which was officially opened on Friday, were identified for concessional loan funding by IRENA in 2015 and received $15 million from the ADFD at a 1-2% rate of interest for 20 years.

A 3.75 MW project has been installed on the outskirts of the city of Cárdenas, in Matanzas province; two 2.5 MW facilities were developed, near the cities of Mayajigua, Sancti Spíritus province and Camaguey; and a 1.25 MW scheme was connected near the town of Perea, also in Sancti Spíritus. Polycrystalline 72-cell, 315 Wp Jinko Eagle modules were used in the installations with Italian company C.R. Technology Systems s.p.a winning the tender to supply equipment. The modules were mounted on a Metalforme racking system.

Seven-year plan

The projects were developed under the second cycle of the ADFD/IRENA project facility, by which the emirati development fund will provide $350 million in lending in $50 million annual blocks up to 2021.

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The $15 million loaned for the projects was the maximum available for individual blocks of renewables capacity under the lending facility.

Funding can supply up to half the costs of the projects recommended by IRENA and the Cuban government will fund the remaining cost of developing the 10 MW scheme. IRENA did not specify what percentage of the project’s development costs were covered by the ADFD loan.

More than 120 MW of new renewable energy capacity worldwide is set to come online under the first four cycles of the lending facility with the Cuban project and another 10 MW facility, planned in Mauritius, the biggest solar schemes in the pipeline to date.

This article was amended on 10/07/19 to reflect the 10 MW was spread across four installations rather than one and to add further details supplied by IRENA.

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