The final project aims to generate 120 MW, a capacity equivalent to 60% of the production of the Acaray hydroelectric power plant (200 MW).
The Vice-Minister of Mines and Energy, engineer Carlos Zaldívar, provided details of the first definitive license for the self-generation of electric energy through a photovoltaic plant in the Paraguayan Chaco, granted to La Betty SA. The company will initially produce 5 MW in 10 hectares (100,000 m²) and will reach up to 120 MW.
The project consists of the installation and commissioning of an irrigation system using mobile pivots, which will be powered by renewable energy from the plant's installation to be located in the district of Mariscal Estigarribia, Department of Boquerón. The estimated final investment is USD 160 million.
"It will be the first private company to produce solar energy in the Chaco, in the modality of self-generation, that is very important. They will produce energy by installing solar panels, and the surplus can be injected into the National Interconnected System (SIN-PY), selling the energy to ANDE", said Zaldívar. He added that the installation for the 5 MW will be completed in a year or a year and a half or so.
La Betty SA will be the largest solar photovoltaic energy producer so far. There is the precedent of the Guarani refrigeration plant, but this company's plant is 15,000 m² for 1 MW of power, with USD 700 thousand of investment. "We know that hydroelectric power is not eternal. The State has already built the 500 kV lines, and will be able to withdraw all the energy that corresponds to it in the hydroelectric plants to encourage industries, but we have to start thinking about the future, in other sources of generation, to ensure covering the demand that the country will have", said the Vice-Minister of Mines and Energy.
In addition, Zaldívar highlighted the works of the Bioceanic Road Corridor, which crosses the Chaco, and pointed out that people are enthusiastic, they are starting to invest, also betting on energy generation. "The standard is 10 hectares for 5 MW, but that can change according to technological advances," he said. The deputy minister added that energy is fundamental in the irrigation system of a production, and that the objective is to ensure that process with renewable energy. "They know that there will be ways to export or transfer the final product. As for the irrigation system, it will be used mainly for the cultivation of agricultural products such as soybean, corn, wheat and other crops in Chaco soil", he explained.