Venezuela sees first grid-connected PV system come online

The system will power the broadband transport networks. The solar panels are “made with 100% Venezuelan engineering.”

June 2, 2021

From pv magazine Latam

The minister of popular power of electric power of Venezuela, Néstor Luis Reverol Torres, has announced that the first photovoltaic system in the country was installed, located in Guárico state. pv magazine has requested more information on the system, which is stated to be “part of the actions carried out by the workers of the Corporación Eléctrica Nacional S.A (Corpoelec), for the protection of the electricity service.”

Reverol explained that the solar panels are “made with 100% Venezuelan engineering,” and that they strengthen the continuity of the electricity service and demonstrate the commitment of the government of President Nicolás Maduro to comply with the sustainable development goals established by the United Nations (UN) to develop renewable sources of energy. No further details of the project have been released.

This system was built in the Sombrero II substation and will feed the broadband transport network continuously and thus guarantee, in the event of any failure, the operation of the voice and data system necessary to keep the National Electric System (SEN) working.

In 2018, Venezuela announced the manufacture of its first solar cell: the development and research took about a year and was carried out at the facilities of the National Center for Optical Technologies (CNTO), attached to CIDA and located in the Libertador de Mérida municipality. The activity was financed by the National Fund for Science, Technology and Innovation (FONACIT).

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President Maduro expressed his desire to promote the development of a solar industry in 2013. Since then, however, only small, off-grid photovoltaic projects have been carried out, for isolated regions. Most of the systems were installed within the framework of the Sembrando Luz program, which depends on Fundelec’s renewable energy management. The program was founded in 2005 by the Bolivarian government “within the framework of the policies of social inclusion and diversification of energy sources, promoted through the VI Joint Commission Cuba-Venezuela Comprehensive Cooperation Agreement, and aimed at serving communities [which are] isolated.”

In 2014, the Venezuelan government stated that it wanted to install about 523 MW in renewable energy projects in the 2013-2019 period, of which about 478 MW corresponded to wind projects.

According to the latest figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency, the Latin American country had around 5 MW of installed solar power at the end of 2020.

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