By Caribbean News Now contributor
LOIZA, Puerto Rico -- Canadian Solar, one of the world's largest solar companies, has announced the delivery 26 MW of its solar power modules for the San Fermin solar power plant installation in Puerto Rico.
The solar power plant is located in the northeastern town of Loiza, a region that regularly faces adverse weather conditions such as hurricanes, tropical storms and flooding. Due to the specific nature of the project and its location, the project's electrical equipment was installed on structures that elevated them two to four meters above ground, and have also been designed to withstand winds of up to 260 kilometers per hour (161 mph).
The solar power system is expected to be completed and connected to the national grid in December 2012, making it the first photovoltaic (PV) project in Puerto Rico to meet the technical requirements of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) by enabling both active and reactive power regulation. Moreover, the electrical frequency will be adjustable and the voltage can be modulated at the grid connection point to accommodate any sudden fluctuations in solar intensity. The PV installation also has a unique feature with its own predictive weather station to prepare the solar power plant for sudden increases or reductions of sunlight.
"This PV project has proven to have an extra degree of complexity, as we needed to plan, design and engineer for weather conditions particular to the Caribbean region ranging from hurricanes and flooding to a variety of soil types. The solar plant was also designed to operate in a challenging electrical environment, with 40% overcurrent, voltage control issues and the need for a back-up energy storage system. Given this highly demanding environment, the high-quality and durability of Canadian Solar's modules was essential in meeting the strict requirements for us and our development partner, Uriel," stated Roberto Montes, general manager of contractor TSK Solar. "Thanks to the robustness of our PV components, the new installation will help further stabilize Puerto Rico's electrical grid."
"The joint efforts, focus and cooperation of all stakeholders involved in this project have helped keep the installation on its planned schedule," said Fernando Metcalf, president of co-developer Uriel Renewables. "Canadian Solar's experience, module reliability and high quality has proven to be the right choice for the San Fermin project. We look forward to continue developing the relationship as we deploy our solar PV pipeline in the region."
Canadian Solar's modules, which were selected for the Loiza project, recently received the highest PV USA (PTC) ratings – a universally recognized indicator of a solar system's real performance and power output.
"We continue to expand our global presence in markets that are attractive from a financial perspective and where we can work with strong local partners to ensure success," said Dr Shawn Qu, chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar. "We are excited to be involved with innovative solar power plants, like the one in Loiza, as they showcase solar an option for a much wider range of markets with challenging energy needs."