San Salvador — The state-owned and autonmous Comisión Ejecutiva Hidroeléctrica del Río Lempa (CEL) of El Salvador will build its first solar energy plant in the country, in the municipality of Talnique, in La Libertad department in the country’s southwest, around 30km (18.5 miles) west of the Salvadoran capital.
The Talnique Solar project will require an investment of $20 million and will have an installed capacity of 17MW at peak hours. The plant will feature 29,600 solar panel modules with bifacial technology, which means that they will generate power on both sides of the panel. The plant’s site covers the equivalent of 19 city blocks.
“For the first time in the history of our country, the state is creating, designing, planning and executing a solar project. Talnique Solar will be in operation and generating electricity in December 2023″, CEL president, Daniel Alvarez, said.
The project will create around 100 direct jobs and 300 indirect job, and will be built by Inversiones Energéticas (INE), a subsidiary of CEL.
CEL contributes 32.3% of El Salvador’s electricity generation and 48.7% of its renewable energy resources.
“Currently, Inversiones Energéticas is a company that generates energy through petroleum derivatives, so, with this project it begins to shift its business to the generation of clean and non-polluting energy,” CEL said.
The plant will save the emission of 20,000 tons of CO2, according to calculations regarding its environmental impact, while its power generation will be sufficient to serve some 25,000 Salvadoran households, with an average consumption of 100 kilowatt hours.
The Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) has approved a $100 million loan to support CEL with working capital for the project.
“We are contributing to guaranteeing continuity in the generation of electricity through the use of natural resources in El Salvador,” said Dante Mossi, executive president of CABEI.