Cuba’s first solar farm a step toward renewables
It’s like a vision of the space age carved out of the jungle: Thousands of glassy panels surrounded by a lush canopy of green stretch as far as the eye can see, reflecting the few clouds that dot the sky on a scorching Caribbean morning.
Cuba’s first solar farm opened this spring with little fanfare and no prior announcement. It boasts 14,000 photovoltaic panels which in a stroke more than doubled the country’s capacity to harvest energy from the sun.
The project, one of seven such farms in the works, shows a possible road map to greater energy independence in cash-poor Cuba, where Communist leaders are being forced to consider renewables to help keep the lights on after four failed attempts to strike it rich with deep-water oil drilling and the death of petro-benefactor Hugo Chavez.
“For us this is the future,” said Ovel Concepcion, a director with Hidroenergia, the state-run company tasked with building the solar park 190 miles east of Havana in the central province of Cienfuegos.