The companies Proquinal – a member of the Spradling Group – and Swissol, accompanied by government authorities, inaugurated the largest and most innovative project in storage of alternative energy in Costa Rica, which will reduce the pressure on public electricity generation and also contribute to the strategy of carbon neutrality for the country.
To capture solar energy, a covered parking lot with 690 solar panels was installed at the Proquinal Costa Rica headquarters, in Coyol de Alajuela, making efficient use of space. The energy that is captured is subsequently stored in an innovative battery system, the only one of its kind in Costa Rica. A project that exceeds two million dollars in investment.
This system allows the implementation of 4.3 MWh (1.5 MW Peak) of storage capacity through lithium batteries that are charged mainly during the night rate, which has a lower cost, and with the intermediate rate known as the valley. The solar panels allow a generation of 255 KW.
The stored energy is delivered to the production process of the Proquinal Costa Rica plant during the two peak periods or the highest demand, which go from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and then from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 pm, spaces where the cost of energy is the highest.
Electricity from public sources in peak periods is 4.5 times more expensive than the night rate. Through this system, the company can ensure savings of approximately US $ 41,000 per month, which allows a recovery of the investment in a period of 4.3 years.
This project arose thanks to Proquinal’s commitment to its Strategic Pillar of Sustainability and in response to its permanent search for energy efficiency, also leveraged by the international certification ISO 50001: Energy Management Systems, in which the company is certified.
It is an important contribution from the private sector to Costa Rica’s efforts to decarbonize its economy, and also contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), promoted by the United Nations, specifically the goal of Affordable and Clean Energy and the of Action for the Climate.
For Costa Rica the use of renewable energy is the future and this has been confirmed with the officialization of the Carbon Neutrality Program 2.0, which has proposed the goal of using 100% renewable energy.
This project started in 2017 and was implemented through the Swissol and Rolls Royce companies, both with high experience and positive impact on the generation of renewable energies. The English / German company Rolls Royce Solutions is the provider of the latest generation batteries and the software that allows monitoring the entire system.
The storage system installed in Costa Rica is the second to be established in Central America. Only on Corn Island in Nicaragua there is one of similar size and through it is supplied 100% of the electricity that its 8,500 inhabitants consume every day of the year.
Moisés Hernández, General Manager of Proquinal in Costa Rica assured that the inauguration of this project is a great teaching of the intelligent use of energy and an advance and contribution for the country in the field of renewable energies, additionally he stressed that this type of projects are carried out thanks to the legal security that Costa Rica provides for Free Zones.
“With the knowledge, experience and advice of Swissol we have carried out this project that will allow us to reduce the consumption of the National Grid and reduce the cost of electric energy, an aspect that will undoubtedly allow us to continue reducing our costs and guaranteeing the competitiveness of Costa Rica as country to attract foreign direct investment.” Hernández stated.
According to Reto Rechsteiner, Founder and President of Swissol, for this type of lithium battery system. “Worldwide there are few companies that can offer equipment of this magnitude. Fortunately, with Rolls Royce Solutions, an English-German company we have found the perfect partner to carry out the project”, he assured.