Nicaraguan Resort Turns to Solar+storage Solution to Reduce Utility Costs

Rancho Santana resort and residential community on the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua is turning to solar and energy storage to alleviate the high cost of peak energy in the region.

ViZn Energy Systems Inc. said EPC provider PELICAN, S.A., will install an 800-kW solar array and integrate it with ViZn’s 200-kW/four hour flow battery for the project.

“Electricity in Nicaragua is amongst the most expensive in Latin America and many C&I customers there are on a grid tariff with a peak rate between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. when the energy usage spikes,” Ron Van Dell, president and CEO of ViZn Energy Systems, said in a statement. “There is also no net metering for excess solar electricity, so our four-hour battery is a strong match for the market because it enables customers to install larger PV systems, get significantly cheaper energy than the grid rates, and mitigate elevated energy and demand rates during the evening network peak.”

According to ViZn, its zinc-iron redox batteries experience zero capacity fade over 20 years and have full access to 100 percent of their state of charge. They are also capable of performing both rapid, high-power discharges and slower, long-duration releases at lower power, allowing C&I customers, such as Rancho Santana, to stack applications and incorporate multiple value streams.

“Our annual utility expenses are growing and we are exposed to significant peak demand charges, so we had to find a way to sustainably reduce our energy costs without impacting the sensitive environment at the resort,” Rancho Santana CEO Matt Turner said. “PELICAN proposed an innovative solar+storage system that will allow us to save over $250,000 per year on our utility bills. Using the non-toxic ViZn batteries for the energy storage not only alleviates any of the environmental concerns, but also provides excellent return on investment.”   

Lead image credit: Rancho Santana

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