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Panama: The Bridge Between Continents Geared Toward a Sustainable Future

5 min.

Panama: The Bridge Between Continents Geared Toward a Sustainable Future

A bridge between two continents and a passageway between two oceans, Panama holds an increasingly central role in the future of the American Continent, aiming resolutely at renewable energy.

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Three million years ago, the narrow isthmus of Panama emerged from the sea, changing the world forever. It divided an ocean and united two continents, triggering one of the most important geological events in the history of the Earth.

Since then, this narrow natural bridge – uniting Central America and South America and connecting the West and the East – became a crossroads in the history of the continent, a place of exchange for natural species and an arena for encounters between a wide range of cultures.

 

A Country Looking Toward the Future

Long before Panama City assumed a key commercial and economic role thanks to the Panama Canal – an engineering marvel visited by more than one million people every year and that represents 10% of the country’s GDP on its own – the first ships which began a flourishing commercial exchange between the Old and the New World sailed here.

Today, thanks to a system of reforms that have shaped a much more balanced economic development plan than other countries on the continent, Panama City is the richest city in Central America and boasts the second largest banking center after Hong Kong.

With a Caribbean climate (mild year-round), an exceptional wealth of natural resources and a unique variety of cultures (encouraged by an atmosphere of tolerance and harmony typical of areas of passage), Panama is also a world-famous tourist destination with a constant stream of visitors from around the world.

And, thanks to investments in industry, infrastructure and energy, it’s becoming more and more a modern nation geared toward the future.

 

Panama-EGP: A Success Story

In a country so full of opportunity, renewable energy is the perfect driver to power sustainable development and stimulate a qualitative leap forward for the national production system.

Hydroelectric energy is the main source of renewable energy in Panama, but the energy mix has been diversified in recent years with the introduction of newer renewable energy technologies. Since 2014, investments in solar and wind energy have increased significantly.

Present in this country as the Enel Group already since 2006, when the group assumed the operation of the largest Panamanian generation plant (300 MW), the Fortuna hydroelectric plant, we are now the top producer of solar energy in the country, with a total of 62 MW in installed and operational capacity.

We currently have seven photovoltaic (PV) plants in Panama: the 12-MW Chiriquí PV plant, as well as the Sol Real solar photovoltaic complex, made up of five plants (Caldera Solar, Sol de David, Sol Real, Milton Solar and Vista Alegre) located in the provinces of Chiriquí and Coclé. Together, they generate a total of 42 MW. In July 2018, we completed construction on Estrella Solar, our latest photovoltaic plant (8 MW) built in Panama.

 

Nestlé and First Climate

The success of these projects has allowed us to cultivate our ability to create business relationships, leading to other significant achievements. In recent years, we had the highest volume of sales in the country’s commercial and industrial sector and were in first place for the number of large contracted clients, as a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) signed recently with Nestlé shows.

Recently in Panama, we also entered into an agreement for the sale of International Renewable Energy Certificates (I-REC) with First Climate, a German consulting company with significant experience in the renewable energy certificate market. This was the first transaction, with a partner other than so-called Large Clients, relating to I-RECs sales in Panama by an energy supply company.

Enel Green Power was a pioneer of the I-REC standard in Panama, obtaining the necessary authorization from local authorities in November 2019. Later, the Fortuna and Estrella Solar plants were certified according to I-REC standards.

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