PHOTON News | December 15th, 2014 — The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) have formed a consortium to finance the construction of three PV projects with a combined capacity of 81.7 MW in Honduras.

According to local news portal, the consortium will provide a loan of approximately $146 million for the projects, which will be developed in the department of Choluteca and are scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2015.

The three plants will be built by US solar developer and manufacturer SunEdison Inc. Honduran state-owned electrical power company Empresa Nacional de Energía Eléctrica (ENEE) had awarded 23 service contracts for PV projects totaling 609.2 MW as of the end of June 2014. Seventeen of these projects totaling 379.2 MW are to be developed in the department of Choluteca, while four projects totaling 199.8 MW are to be built in the department of Valle.

The departments of Santa Barbara and Cortés will each host one PV plant, the first with a capacity of 20.2 MW and the second with a power of 10 MW. The 23 projects would reportedly be developed at a per megwatt cost ranging from $2.7 million to $3.0 million.

This means that the total investment for these projects would surpass $1.64 billion. In May, the head of Honduras’s Chamber of Commerce, Salomón Ordóñez, said that Honduras could have 300 MW of cumulative installed PV capacity by August 2015. Ordóñez said that a planned $450 million to $500 million investment in solar projects would make the target possible.

The investments would be concentrated on projects in the southern departments of Valle and Choluteca. Ordóñez claimed that PV power plants developed in these departments would be able to sell electricity to the local grid at a price of $0.18 per kWh, while thermal power plants are currently selling their output to ENEE for $0.20 to $0.22 per kWh.

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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