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Ecuador launches its solar map with seven photovoltaic projects of about 1,500 megawatts

Ecuador launches its solar map with seven photovoltaic projects of about 1,500 megawatts

The government of Ecuador This Friday it presented its solar map, a study on the country’s potential for solar energy, with the identification of the locations for seven photovoltaic projects with a combined power of about 1,500 megawatts.

During the presentation of the study, carried out in the coastal province of Santa Elena, the president of Ecuador, Daniel Noboaasserted that this research “it will change energy history” of the country to “get out of dependence on thermoelectric plants and have renewable energy in different sectors.”

The portfolio of seven projects identified to be carried out in the short and medium term has an investment potential that exceeds US$ 1.5 billion, which will create employment and development opportunities for nearby communities, said the head of state.

The objective of the study is to promote a series of photovoltaic projects that reduce Ecuador’s dependence on hydroelectric energy, after the severe drought experienced in recent months caused the country’s worst energy crisis in the last 20 years at the end of 2023. with scheduled blackouts to ration electricity.

“(The solar map) is a historical milestone that marks the path towards a more sustainable energy future, towards a new Ecuador that respects life and the environment, but that must also be competitive, regionally and globally”Noboa said.

The locations of the seven projects are in the Andean provinces of Imbabura, Pichincha, Cotopaxi and Chimborazo, where photovoltaic plants can be a complement to the hydroelectric plants already operational, according to the general manager of the Electric Corporation of Ecuador (Celec). Paul Urgilés.

“In times of less rain, there is greater solar radiation in the Ecuadorian territory, and we must take advantage of these characteristics to generate energy in times of dry season”said Urgilés.

Likewise, he explained that, although priority has been given to seven projects, the study made it possible to detect more than 4,000 favorable points in the national geography to take advantage of solar energy, in addition to “16 bodies of water where solar panels can also be installed.”

In turn, the Minister of Energy and Mines, Andrea Arrobo, pointed out that the solar map “allows companies to make the best decisions for the use of this non-conventional renewable resource.”

Arrobo highlighted that the information from the study is very valuable to implement projects that are aligned with the National Development Plan and focused on having continuous electrical service for Ecuadorians.

“We want to motivate and invite several companies that are here to develop new photovoltaic projects so that we can always integrate new technologies, a dynamic of disruption and innovation in a sector that is constantly moving”said the minister.

The study of the solar map was carried out by Tractebel, a subsidiary of the French energy company Engie, with support from the French Agency for Development (AFD).

In this sense, the French ambassador to Ecuador, Frédéric Desagneaux, pointed out that this cooperation can contribute to achieving the objectives of the Ecuadorian Government’s ‘No More Blackouts’ plan.

Currently, the most important photovoltaic project underway in Ecuador is El Aromo, run by the Spanish company Solarpack, which plans to invest about US$ 150 million for a plant with 200 megawatts of power near the coastal city of Manta.

Source: Gestion

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