The Albireo photovoltaic solar power plant was officially inaugurated on December 3, although it has been operating since April. With an installed power of 140 megawatts (MW), it supplies 4% of the energy in the Salvadoran wholesale market, which is equivalent to the average annual consumption of 255,000 homes.
The plant is part of Capella Solar, a company owned by the French company Neoen, which already operated one of the largest solar projects in the country, in La Paz.
“Thanks to the experience capitalized with our first project, now with Capella Solar we are providing El Salvador with the cheapest energy, influencing the reduction of final consumer spending. Likewise, we are strengthening our drive for renewable energies in the Salvadoran energy matrix, which which translates into positive impacts on the conservation of the environment and the energy independence of the country “, said Paolo Cartagena, general manager of Neoen in El Salvador.
Albireo injects energy with the most competitive price in El Salvador, since the contract they signed with distributors, such as those of the AES and DELSUR group, is at an average price of $ 49.55 per megawatt hour (MWh), for 20 years.
By adding this project to the first, Neoen’s contribution amounts to 7% of the energy in this market, totaling a capacity of 241 MW, which will avoid the emission of 250,000 tons of carbon dioxide during 2020.
“The Capella Solar project shows how competitive solar energy can be integrated with storage for the benefit of the entire industry and consumers. We are committed to continue investing for the development of El Salvador,” commented Neoen President and CEO Xavier Barbaro.
The plant is part of the largest energy storage infrastructure in Central America, called Albireo Power Reserve, a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 3.3 MW /2.2 MWh. Its operation began on February 27, and allows to precisely regulate the frequency of the network.
Neoen is one of the world’s leading companies in terms of energy storage; recently, in alliance with Tesla, it completed the expansion of Hornsdale Power Reserve, 150 MW /193.5MWh, in Australia, one of the largest capacity batteries in the world.
The main financing for the development of Albireo was obtained from the IDB Invest bank, the Dutch Development Bank FMO and the French Development Bank PROPARCO. The total investment amounted to $ 133 million.
Albireo was built by a consortium formed by the Spanish company TSK and the French company Gensun.
“The Albireo solar park is part of the projects that add up to the $ 1,300 million in renewable energy investment that have been completed in the 16 months that we have been in charge of El Salvador, and it is a clear example of trust,” said the minister of Economy, María Luisa Hayem.