DEPCOM Power is constructing Puerto Rico’s largest hybrid solar project

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DEPCOM Power, a solar engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) and operations and maintenance (O&M) provider, held an inauguration event for the construction on Ciro One, the largest solar-plus-storage project in Puerto Rico.

The project, inaugurated on November 1 in Salinas, Puerto Rico, is expected to begin operations at the end of 2024. DEPCOM developed, procured, and is managing the installation of the 90 MW solar project. It includes a 51.5 MW on-site battery energy storage system (BESS).

Ciro One is expected to generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 60,000 Puerto Rico homes.

The project is developed alongside developer partner Ciro Energy Group and subcontractor Lord Construction Inc. Over 370 direct jobs were made in the development of the project.

The BESS uses a lithium-titanate oxide battery, delivering higher cycling power and lower degradation rates than more commonly used lithium iron phosphate technology. The system is covered by warranty for 25 years.

Image: DEPCOM Power

The PV system is designed to withstand hurricane force winds, featuring a lower panel tilt angle and east/west row orientation. The inverters include salt fog filters to mitigate the effect of ocean salinity on the island system’s power electronics.

Due to land area limitations on the island, co-locating agricultural practices with utility-scale solar facilities is being explored in the project. Vegetation at one of the arrays in Ciro One will be managed by grazing sheep. This has a co-benefit of feeding sheep while keeping vegetation away from the array.

“This project will strengthen our island’s energy network at a scale that gets us closer to meeting our renewable goals,” says Ciro Energy Group President Mario Tomasini. “At the same time, we are maximizing the site’s potential through a multi-use approach, integrating vital agriculture with solar power generation.”

Puerto Rico has a mandate to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2050.

Six U.S. national laboratories have described in a report how Puerto Rico could reach 40% renewable electricity by 2025, as mandated by Puerto Rico’s Act 17.

The U.S. territory could reach 36% renewables by 2025 if 3.75 GW of utility-scale solar and 1.5 GW of storage that Puerto Rico has mandated the utility PREPA to procure were constructed and interconnected by year-end 2025, which would be “very rapid deployment,” the national laboratories said in a report.

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