Martifer Solar, a subsidiary of Martifer SGPS, has entered into a strategic partnership with Citelum, a global leader in public lighting and sustainable urban development. The companies will work together to provide the municipality of Izamal, Yucatán, Mexico, with clean energy through the combined power of solar photovoltaic energy and LED lighting technology.
The project, named Girasol, has been developed through a 15-year contract which exists between Citelum and the municipality of Izamal. Citelum has extensive experience in Mexico and on a global basis with similar urban projects. The company is known to apply innovative and unique financial structures for projects throughout Latin America. Martifer Solar will serve as the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contractor for the solar power plant portion of the Girasol project. With its impressive track record of the recently inaugurated 39 MW Aura Solar power plant, Martifer Solar is able to contribute its expertise from the construction of Mexico’s largest PV plant.
Álvaro del Rio Garcia, Country Manager of Mexico for Martifer Solar, stated, “Thanks to Citelum’s trust in Martifer Solar, we have a new opportunity to build in Mexico and to maintain our leadership in this market. Martifer Solar continues along its path as a first-mover in the Mexican market by bringing solar PV energy and the company’s demonstrated expertise to the Girasol project.”
The solar PV portion of Girasol will provide the municipality of Izamal with a 1.46-MW ground-mounted installation. The PV plant will be assembled with 4,860 polycrystalline modules in a fixed position. It will be built on land of approximately 10,000 m2, which has been donated by the municipality of Izamal. With a production capacity of 2.1 GWh/year, the plant will avoid 955 tons of CO2 emissions each year and provide the equivalent to the energy consumption of 4,595 inhabitants on an annual basis.
The Girasol project is unique in that the power generation from the 1.46 MW solar PV installation will supply energy to power the comprehensive LED lighting portion of the project. Citelum will ensure the complete renovation of the existing street lights to more efficient LED technology, the upgraded illumination around the municipal buildings and video mapping to promote tourism to Izamal. This project will make Izamal the first municipality in Mexico to have a solar PV system generating energy to supply a public LED lighting project.
Antonio Martínez, Senior Finance Director of Citelum in Mexico, said, “Citelum is driven by a long-standing culture of research and innovation in sustainable lighting solutions, with a footprint spanning more than 20 countries in the world. We are excited to bring this innovative business concept to the municipality of Izamal, together with Martifer Solar, and look forward to setting a trend in the combination of LED lighting and solar PV technologies in Mexico.”
The energy secretary of Mexico, Pedro Joaquin Coldwell, recently announced the ambitious target of 33% of the country’s installed electricity capacity to come from renewable sources by 2018. The Girasol project will not only contribute to this goal, but also will provide a sustainable model for other municipalities with high solar irradiation in Mexico to follow in the future.
— Solar Builder magazine