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Solar project pilot energizes Chihuahua Children’s Hospital

Posted on October 29, 2011

Solar project pilot energizes Chihuahua Children’s Hospital

On October 18, 2011 at the Dallas Convention Center, the North American Development Bank (NADB) and the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) signed a letter of agreement with the Government of the State of Chihuahua to support the implementation of a pilot solar energy project in the city of Chihuahua.

Signing ceremony in Dallas, TexasWithin the framework of the Solar Power International conference in Dallas, Texas, the agreement was signed by Javier Garfio Pacheco, Secretary of Communications and Public Works for the State of Chihuahua, NADB Deputy Managing Director Alex Hinojosa, and BECC Deputy General Manager José Mario Sánchez-Soledad.

The US$900,000 project consists of installing a 250 kW solar plant to supply electricity to a new Children’s Specialty Care Hospital currently under construction in the city of Chihuahua, and will serve to strengthen the State’s capacity to aid in the promotion and development of the renewable energy sector in the state.

NADB, through its Technical Assistance Program (TAP), will provide a grant for up to US$300,000 for design, development, training, oversight, planning, and implementation services, while BECC will provide a US$50,000 grant through its technical assistance program to complement part of the funds needed for these development activities.

Thanks to negotiations by NADB, the State of Chihuahua secured a commitment from Suntech Power Holdings Company, Ltd, a global manufacturer and vendor of crystalline silicon photovoltaic solar panels, to donate the solar panels for the project, as well as a commitment from Schneider Electric to provide the inverter(s) required for the Project.

Moreover, SunEdison Spain Construction, S.L.U., has agreed to provide design, development, training, oversight, planning, and implementation services to the project for an amount equal only to the actual direct costs incurred. The grants from NADB and BECC will cover these costs.

“We are grateful to NADB, BECC and the companies involved for supporting Chihuahua in its efforts to provide solar energy to the children’s hospital, which will see a savings of about 20% in electricity costs,” stated Mr. Garfio Pacheco. “This solar energy project, which will have a significant social impact, is the first to be implemented in Chihuahua, and we hope that it will serve as a guide for more projects of this type in Chihuahua.”

Noteworthy is that the Universidad Tecnológica de Chihuahua will operate the solar facility through its renewable energy certification program, and at the same time use it to undertake research studies that will provide much-needed information on the state’s solar resources.

Suntech’s Vice-President Edwing Huang signed the agreement and pledged to provide the solar panels at no cost to BECC and NADB, for these two institutions to deliver them to the government of Chihuahua for the Children’s Hospital.

Jose Mario Sanchez-Soledad said during an interview: “This is a project focused on helping Chihuahua children, which is complemented with state-of-the-art power generation technology. The key in this program is to support the state government with expertise to manage, operate, monitor, and learn in practice the requirements and benefits of this type of facilities for public infrastructure. It is very fortunate to have this happen on the border, to acquire the necessary experience for the development of a renewable energy/energy efficiency culture.”

Also present were officials from Schneider Electric, a company that specializes in energy efficiency and has created hundreds of jobs in Mexico. In coordination with its vendors, this company will be in charge of the electrical installations for this hospital. Funding for this action will be provided by BECC and NADB.




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