A few energy developments in Central America

Compiled by Martin Mowforth for The Violence of Development website.

Photovoltaic panels in Panama

Panama is planning the construction of an electrical energy production plant using photovoltaic panels.

In April, Italy’s Enel SpA company began construction of a 31 MW solar park in Panama’s Chiriqui province. The Madre Vieja photovoltaic (PV) plant is expected to begin feeding power into the local grid in December this year (2021) and commercial operations are planned to start in February 2022.

Madre Vieja will consist of over 68,000 solar panels and should be able to generate nearly 50 Gigawatt hours of electricity per year. That is calculated as enough to offset over 12,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.


Solar energy in Guatemala

A solar energy generation park is to be built in the department of Jutiapa, Guatemala. The construction phase is expected to last almost two years and the plant will have approximately 274,000 panels and will be located on a 127 hectare plot of land.

The energy generated in the project will be transmitted through the electrical transmission system to the Jalpatagua sub-station whence it will be delivered to the National Interconnected System (SNI).


Promotion of geothermal energy in Central America

The German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) commissioned a programme to promote geothermal development in Central America between 2016 and 2020. The Agency in charge of the programme in the region was the Central American Integration System (SICA).

The programme involved particularly the improvement of the perception of geothermal energy as a stable and viable energy source, the clarification of the legal regulatory framework for the development of geothermal energy and support for companies aiming to develop geothermal energy potential.


First wind farm in El Salvador

El Salvador’s first wind farm has been commissioned. It is expected to produce 54 MW of electrical energy and is located in the municipality of Metapán in the Santa Ana department.

It will significantly add to El Salvador’s capacity for renewable energy generation and prevent the emission of approximately 200,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. Additionally, it will also help to reduce the country’s dependence on imported fossil fuels and diversify the national energy power grid.


  • Central America Data, 18 November 2021, various reported items.
  • renews,14 July 2021, ‘El Salvador commissions first wind farm’, https://renews.biz/70976/el-salvadors-first-wind-farm-commissioned/
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) website (undated), ‘Promotion of geothermal energy in Central America’, https://www.giz.de/en/worldwide/78071.html