With new, clean technologies that use solar energy and thus reduce the carbon footprint, CIAT, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, is inaugurating solar panels this coming November.

The project is promoted by Celsia, through EPSA, with the battery-free supply of energy generated by a solar photovoltaic system. Empresa de Energía del Pacífico, EPSA, directed the process to install 2,820 solar panels, which will supply 20% of CIAT’s total energy consumption, corresponding to a power supply of 900 kilowatts.

The photovoltaic cells are made of first- and second-generation materials, which makes it possible for the system to tolerate high temperatures and cloudy conditions. In addition to reducing the cost of electrical energy that the Center now buys, one of the main benefits of this project is that once the infrastructure that generates this clean and sustainable energy has completed its useful life, it will go through a recovery project in which its materials will be recycled.

The solar panels, which will occupy a surface area of 14,000 m2, are expected to provide a reduction of 12% in the cost of conventional energy, which is the equivalent of saving CIAT COP$46 million per year.

The energy produced through the solar system will mitigate 496 tons of CO2 emissions per year, the equivalent of planting 1,774 mature trees. “The inauguration of this long-awaited project gives us a great opportunity to promote sustainability in the use of energy in our own home. We hope to expand the program in the future and thus to be able to cover a greater part of our growing energy needs,” said CIAT’s director, Ruben Echeverría, who has been pushing this project for years.

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