Supporting the Dominican Republic’s goals to increase solar power deployment and reduce climate impact, Kyocera Solar Inc. announced recently that Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) has installed a 70.2-kilowatt (kW) rooftop solar system, constructed by Retecsa S.A. de CV using Kyocera solar panels.
The Dominican Republic, currently dependent on imported fossil fuels for 86 percent of its electrical power, is on the verge of an energy paradigm shift that is outlined in Worldwatch Institute’s first-ever Sustainable Energy Roadmap. The Roadmap explains the country’s superior solar potential resulting from its “global horizontal irradiance” (GHI) score of 5-8 kilowatt hours per square meter per day (kWh/m2/day), making it an ideal location for generating solar energy.
As part of the university’s environmentally friendly practices, PUCMM recently upgraded to automated lighting systems in several buildings to improve energy efficiency, and has enhanced its recycling program. The system of 270 Kyocera 260-watt solar modules installed on the roof of PUCMM’s main building represents a pilot project for the university, which plans to install additional solar modules on campus.
“Besides saving on its electricity bill, PUCMM is promoting solar’s clean energy as a way to preserve the environment to students and the community,” said Marco Antuña, President of Retecsa. “By using Kyocera modules in the pilot program, PUCMM can experience optimal performance as it plans for the second phase of a solar rollout on additional buildings.”
The 70kW Kyocera solar installation is estimated to produce 83,000kWh annually, with a carbon impact equal to avoiding 57 metric tons of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. With electricity prices in the Dominican Republic averaging $0.21/kWh1, many commercial customers see solar as a viable option for lowering electric bills.
“With the ideal solar irradiance of the Dominican Republic, Kyocera solar panels, proven reliable through independent tests and decades of real-world experience, can make a significant impact on the nation’s renewable energy goals,” said Hitoshi Atari, President of Kyocera Solar Inc. “Kyocera’s modules have passed rigorous salt mist corrosion testing, making them the ideal choice for island installations where the harsh marine environment could otherwise negatively impact performance.”