China invests in solar power in Nicaragua

In December 2023, the governments of China and Nicaragua signed an agreement for the China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) to provide the finance (almost 66 million euros) for the design and construction of a photovoltaic plant in the department of Matagalpa in the north of Nicaragua.

A particular purpose of the project would be to enable ENACAL (the Nicaraguan government water and sewage company) to meet the demand for water more securely and consistently as well as bolstering the country’s energy supply system. ENACAL is expected to build 4 more major wells for water supply in the department of Matagalpa and to improve the management of water supply for all 48 wells there, spreading access to water more widely in the process.

The project became more concrete in April this year (2024) when President Ortega authorised the Nicaraguan Ministry of Energy and Mines to sign a contract with the CCCC to build the solar photovoltaic power plant with a capacity of 67.35 megawatts in Ciudad Dario in Matagalpa department.

In 2021, Nicaragua broke off its relationship with Taiwan and established a relationship with China in its place. In December 2023, the new relationship was raised to a level of a ‘strategic partnership’. Then in January 2024, Nicaragua and China signed a Free Trade Agreement, and the Chinese government will also cooperate with Nicaragua on issues of security and technology. Chinese companies are also expected to participate in the construction of a range of infrastructure projects.

Other solar power projects in Nicaragua include the Dos Volcanes solar plant on the island of Ometepe which is currently nearing completion and generating 1.5 megawatts. In March this year in the municipality of Malpaisillo in the Department of León, the Jaguar Solar Power Plant came into operation with a capacity of 16 megawatts.

The Nicaraguan Minister of Energy and Mines, Salvador Mansell, has predicted that the country will be above 200 solar megawatts by next year.


  • Informe Pastrán, 5 Diciembre 2023, ‘Matagalpa Tendrá Planta Fotovoltaica de Energía Limpia’.
  • Nan McCurdy, 25 April 2024, ‘Chinese Company to Build Solar Plant in Ciudad Darío’, NicaNotes Briefs, Alliance for Global Justice.
  • Tico Times, 30 April 2024, ‘China to Build Massive Solar Power Plant in Nicaragua’, San José, Costa Rica.
  • Nan McCurdy, 9 May 2024, ‘Great Financial Investment in Solar Energy’, Nicanotes Briefs, Alliance for Global Justice.
  • Nan McCurdy, 16 May 2024, ‘New Solar Power Plant to be Added to the Grid’, Nicanotes, Briefs, Alliance for Global Justice.