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Guatemala’s first utility-scale solar plant complete

Río Hondo in Zapaca, the 5MW Sibo solar power plant will power 24,000 homes in Guatemala.

The first utility-scale solar power plant in Guatemala, and reportedly the largest in Central America, is now online.


The 5MW ‘Sibo’ power plant is located in Estanzuela, Zapaca, eastern Guatemala, and is a joint venture between Guatemala developer, Greenergyze, Spanish utility-scale solar construction firm, Gransolar, and investors Grupo Ecos, the Guatemalan Green Group and EcoSolar.


The plant also received financing through a non-recourse loan from Guatemalan lender Banco G&T Continental.


“This is the first example of project finance being applied in the utility-scale solar sector in Guatemala, which we hope will pave the way to the build out of additional solar and clean energy infrastructure in Guatemala and the greater region,” said Banco G&T’s head of structured finance, Christian Kummerfeldt.


The project was constructed in just four months, beginning in January and completed in April this year.


The plant, covering a 14-hectare site, has 20,320 crystalline modules installed on single axis trackers, and will provide 12 million kWh to the national grid.


Guatemala’s president, Otto Perez Molina attended the solar plant’s inauguration and said with the new solar power plant, with the economy continuing to grow, will help to alleviate poverty in the country. 


Greenergyze spokesman, Sebastian García-Prendes stated: “Sibo is a pioneer in tapping Guatemala’s potential for large-scale photovoltaic projects in the region. It should make a real contribution to Guatemala’s sustainable development by reducing the nation’s carbon footprint, stabilising electricity tariffs and reducing its dependence on imported fossil fuels.”


Energy from Sibo will be sold via a 16-year power purchase agreement with national energy company, Energuate.


“This electricity will be purchased and distributed by Energuate to supply households, businesses and industry throughout Guatemala,” stated Alberto Rabanal, ECoSolar’s CEO.


Iván Higueras, Gransolar managing director said Sibo is “an important milestone in changing the energetic matrix in Guatemala introducing other renewable energies, reducing cost of energy and reducing dependence on fossil fuels”.


Gransolar began activities in Central America and the Caribbean region through its affiliate, Gransolar Centroamérica in December 2012.


Gransolar was awarded the licences to build and operate the 5MW solar plant under the country’s open tender for energy projects, the PEG-2-2012 bidding process. Gransolar Centroamérica is also involved in another 30MW of solar power projects.



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