A new solar power project in the Dominican Republic will be the largest of its kind in the Caribbean upon its completion. The Monte Plata project, named for the capital city and province in which it is located, is the 33.4 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic solar array destined to churn out five times as much clean energy as the nation currently generates. By increasing renewable energy generation, the energy-scarce island country will be able to greatly reduce its need for imported fuel and take a leap forward toward economic independence.

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This project alone will triple the number of solar panels in the Dominican Republic, adding 132,000 panels to produce more than 50,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of clean energy each year, which will be fed into the nation’s grid. The Monte Plata project also reportedly creates 1,300 jobs, with the majority being local – at or near the site. The Dubai-based international solar developer Phanes Group, which has active projects in the Middle East and Europe, designed the Monte Plata array and will carry out its installation.

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The solar array at Monte Plata is being touted as the island nation’s ticket to economic and energy independence. Once the second phase of construction is complete—which is expected by the end of this year—its output will increase the solar power produced in the small country by fivefold. Martin Haupts, CEO of Phanes Group, says the solar array will benefit citizens directly and open up new opportunities. “With much of the Caribbean challenged by expensive fuel imports,” he said, “solar has the ability to liberate these island nations from economic and energy dependency, increasing the energy security and reducing greenhouse gas emissions while helping elevate communities.”

+ Phanes Group

Images via Phanes Group