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El Salvador to Pour $500 Million into Renewables

El Salvador's Comision Ejecutiva Hidroelectrica del Rio Lempa (CEL) is to invest roughly $500m to develop the country's renewable power industry, according to company executives and insiders.

It plans various projects to expand the Central American country's solar, wind and photovoltaic energy resources, a CEL spokesman told Renewable Energy World.

The company's first undertaking will be a 42-MW wind farm in Metapan in Western El Salvador which will cost $80 million and is scheduled to come on line in early 2016. Then CEL will earmark $236 million for a 50-MW thermosolar park in an undisclosed location that will probably be in the Eastern region but is still being evaluated, the spokesman said.

Finally, CEL will expand the country's main "5 de Noviembre" hydroelectric facility (located 90m from the capital El Salvador) from the current 90 MW to 170 MW by 2016 at a cost of $165 million.

"We are going to build a new machinery station to boost generation efficiency," the spokesman said. El Salvador's largest river Lempa feeds the station and is behind CEL's creation.

El Salvador will use CEL as its key renewable power development arm, the spokesman said, adding that the government is equally interested in developing solar and wind resources and working to assess its potential.

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