This month we wanted to share an update on one of our fully constructed and operating sites, Mariel Solar.
Mariel Solar is the first privately owned, utility scale, renewable energy project in Cuba, divided across three sites. The site is based in Artemisa, Cuba, and has been operational since January 2022. Mariel Solar is a unique project for Hive as we managed the project from development through to construction, and we are now part of managing the solar park which is available for investment – the project was constructed as part of a joint venture with Shanghai Electric Corporation.
Mariel Solar was privileged to have HRH King Charles to inaugurate the ´ground breaking ´ event in 2019. With great difficulty Shanghai Electric managed to keep construction going throughout the pandemic, reaching a little delayed COD at the end of 2021, since then the park has operated at 103% efficiency.
The solar farm is 62 MW and covers 118 hectares. The project utilised 325W solar panels with single axis tracking systems, and generates about 118 kWh of energy/year, making it the first in the Caribbean region to utilise this technology. Since COD, the park has weathered a hurricane, proving that the tracking system is suitable for the region.
The site provides clean energy for one of Cuba’s newest industrial hubs, Zona Especial de Desarrollo de Mariel – an industrial hub which is a key component of the Cuban Government’s development agenda.
The Cuban energy market
Currently, Cuba is operating on around 94% fossil fuel, predominantly diesel and oil. As such, the Government is implementing plans to adopt more than 2 GW of renewable energy in coming years, as a case of commercial and environmental urgency. Mariel Solar has become the ´showcase´ for the Energy Ministry for future developments.
Acquisition opportunities for Mariel Solar & Pipeline
As mentioned above, Mariel Solar is currently available for investment. Hive Energy and Shanghai Electric are offering the opportunity to acquire the operational sites located within a 10-mile radius. The project has several fiscal benefits, a long term PPA with the national utility UNE with incomes of +USD 11 million per year, and payments are backed by first resource bank guarantee.
Mariel Solar has an expansion project already close to RTB, called Trebol II, an extension of the park where the amin office is located. This is for 30MW of solar PV and 25MWh of energy storage. Moreover the Mariel Solar team has access to large additional pipeline of solar and wind projects throughout Cuba.
Hive’s work in Latin America
LATAM is a key area for growth for Hive Energy. We now have two Country Managers in the region, Horacio, and Italo. Together, they are working on a substantial pipeline, equating to almost 5 GW.
We have pipeline sites in Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Chile, as well as our Mariel Solar site in Cuba. Solar is not our only focus in the region though, we are focusing on green hydrogen in Latin America too, with projects in two countries.