Honduran Hydroelectric Project Gets Go-ahead

E+Co, of Bloomfield, a company that helps establish sustainable clean energy entrepreneurs in developing countries, is providing funding for the La Esperanza Hydroelectric Project, a 12.8 MW renewable energy power plant in Honduras, that will provide 18 hectares of new forests, employ 40 local people, support more than 120 people in indirect jobs and economic activities, and displace 45,000 tons of greenhouse gases annually.

Bloomfield, New Jersey – August 4, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The project closed financing with BGA, a Honduran private bank, and the Central American Bank of Economic Integration. In addition to E+Co’s 2002 early stage loan, BGA will provide a long-term debt of US$8.9 million.The hydroelectric plant showcases clean, renewable energy and direct social and environmental benefits. “The annual Power generation is projected to be 60 percent plant capacity and 90 percent generator capacity.” Gina Rodolico, Program Manager for La Esperanza Hydroelectric Project at E+Co said. With three powerhouses located along the Intibuca River, La Esperanza will sell electricity to the Honduran State-owned utility, ENEE, through a long-term Power Purchase Agreement. “It is difficult to quantify how many families will benefit from the power generated by the project, because power will be sold to the grid before being distributed,” Rodolico said. La Esperanza began operations in June 2003 and is expected to reach full capacity in 2005. Rodolico said, “The station will be operating regularly and during peak hours when the country craves additional electricity, now mainly supplied by polluting, imported fossil fuels.” “This project has been an interesting and challenging opportunity and we have had good support from the central and local governments. In La Esperanza and surrounding communities we have a good labor pool and active business support,” Ron Turner, President of Consorcio the Inversiones, S. A. (CISA), owner of La Esperanza said. “This positive development climate, plus E+Co’s professional business and financial support, should make it possible to construct a number of similar projects in Honduras.” “The future projects for E+Co range from 1 MW -12 MW hydroelectric systems all over Central and Latin America and especially Honduras.” Rodolico said. E+Co has supported CISA with assistance on business plan preparation, leading to a $250,000 loan for construction of the first powerhouse and securing the loan financing for full construction. E+Co services have been supported through FENERCA (Financing of Renewable Energy Enterprises in Central America) a USAID sponsored program. Since April 2000, FENERCA has assisted more than 30 clean energy enterprises with services and financing.
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