Solarcentury, one of the longest-standing solar companies in the world, and Hybrytec, a Colombian company leading the local solar energy market, have joined forces to develop and install the largest roof photovoltaic (PV) solar system in Colombia.
Between them they managed the entire project, from initial design through to construction and O&M. With seven years’ experience and over 140 projects successfully completed across Colombia, Hybrytec supplied the engineering experience and deep technical knowledge necessary for the project. Solarcentury has over 15 years’ experience delivering solar projects on three continents, with a team of highly skilled engineers and project managers.
The 507kWp solar installation – the largest roof system in Colombia – covers 6,300 square meters, roughly the same area as a soccer field, and comprises 2,070 solar panels. The system is helping to power Éxito’s store with solar electricity, reducing the supermarket’s annual energy spend for the building by almost a quarter (24%). Also by consuming less grid energy, Exito is reducing its carbon footprint by preventing the release of 230 tonnes of carbon emissions every year.
Camilo Jaramillo, CEO at Hybrytec, commented,
“As a local company, we have a deep understanding of the local solar market and are therefore well placed to work with businesses to help them benefit from solar. We believe there is a huge growing awareness of the opportunity for solar in Colombia to help meet ever-increasing demands for power and also help businesses cut their energy bills. We look forward to working with Solarcentury on more solar projects, in Colombia and the wider region. We share a common long-term shareholder, Grupo ECOS, which brings stability and consistency to our working relationship and contributes to the success of our projects.”
Exito’s solar roof installation was completed in less than three months, and has been generating clean solar electricity since November 2014. The solar electricity from the system is being used directly by the supermarket to power things like the lighting, air conditioning and refrigerators, all of which are energy intensive. Consuming the solar energy directly from the system reduces distribution-grid losses and therefore maximises the efficiency of the solar system.
Jose Miguel Ferrer, Head of Business Development for Latin America at Solarcentury commented,
“Once the cost of the system has been paid, Exito will enjoy completely free solar energy to power the supermarket over the expected lifetime of 30-40 years. Cutting energy bills by about a quarter for this period is an attractive prospect for any business. We will continue to work closely with Hybrytec to help more businesses reduce their energy bills and cut carbon emissions.”
With the implementation of law 1715 in Colombia, which promotes renewable energy, and the growth of solar projects in Latin America, the solar market is expanding in the country. Furthermore, Solarcentury’s and Hybrytec’s direct involvement in and commitment to ensuring access to solar energy for Colombia at all levels will further the country’s development and that of the region.
Both companies are currently working to deliver a 9.9MWp solar farm in Panama, “Divisa Solar”, that will become the largest spot market plant in the country, capable of producing enough energy to power for more than 3,000 homes.