Operational Date: December 2016
Type: Ground - Fixed
Capacity: 57.6 MW
In order to enter the Puerto Rican market, Sonnedix needed to comply with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA)’s strict minimum-technical requirements (MTRs). To successfully adhere to PREPA’s regulations during the construction of Salinas solar PV plant, Sonnedix’s first solar plant in the country, the company partnered with a global team of experts to develop the first operational formula of its kind in a process that took almost 20 months to complete.
The construction of the Oriana solar PV plant, Sonnedix’s second power plant in Puerto Rico and the largest of its kind at the time in the Caribbean, began in early 2016 and went live just 9 months later—despite being 4.5 times the size of Salinas. Through working closely with PREPA and resourcefully applying the experience and learning from its first project, Sonnedix was able to significantly reduce Oriana’s construction time to quickly reach mechanical completion.
At the peak of Oriana’s construction phase, Sonnedix employed 1,100 local residents, all of whom had been recruited through a joint effort with government employment offices in the area.
Oriana is built on two sites, each about 100 acres in size. The northern site is sandy and composed of a base layer of limestone rock, which represented a challenge in terms of laying the foundation for the platform. The southern site is hilly, but rather than excavate the land to create a flat building surface, Sonnedix opted to build its platform along the slopes, respecting the natural contours of the terrain. Another advantage arose after the site was complete, when locals driving along the road noticed that the undulating solar platforms resemble the ocean’s waves, adding man-made beauty to the landscape.
Operational since the end of 2016, Oriana meets the annual electricity needs of more than 12,000 local homes and offsets 95,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year—the equivalent of planting 50,000 trees every year.