Cuba’s 1st Solar Farm

 

Cuba Solar Farm

It’s like a vision of the space age, carved out of the jungle: Thousands of glassy panels surrounded by a lush canopy of green stretch as far as the eye can see, reflecting the few clouds that dot the sky on a scorching Caribbean morning. Cuba’s first solar farm opened this spring with little fanfare and no prior announcement. It boasts 14,000 photovoltaic panels which in a stroke more than doubled the country’s capacity to harvest energy from the sun. This farm project is one of seven farms for the cash poor Cuba.

Cuba gets about 92,000 barrels of highly subsidized oil per day from Venezuela to meet about half its consumption needs, according to an estimate by University of Texas energy analyst Jorge Pinon. The solar farm now generates enough electricity to power 780 homes and had saved the equivalent of 145 tons of fossil fuels, or around 1,060 barrels of crude, through the end of July. Peak capacity is expected to hit 2.6 megawatts when the final panels are in place in September. Cuba currently gets just 4 percent of its electricity from renewables, so there’s a lot of room for improvement. But hopes are high that solar can be a big winner in Cuba, which enjoys direct sunlight year-round, allowing for consistent high yields of 5 kilowatt-hours per square meter of terrain.

via BigStory