Latin America Receives First Grid-Connect System

December 12, 2002 by Jeff Shepard

Eco Solar, a BP Solar (Linthicum, MD) distributor, has signed an agreement with power distribution utility Luz del Sur (Lima, Peru) to develop a grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) system, which is claimed to be the first of its type in Latin America. The initial objective is to install 100 PV systems with a total capacity of 500kW. The program began on December 1, 2002.

An important element of the project is the application of net metering. When the PV system is generating less power than required by the user, the utility provides the difference, spinning the meter forward. When it generates more power than required, the excess electricity flows into the utility grid, spinning the electric meter backwards and building a credit against the utility bill.

Eco Solar developed the pioneer project in Peru and successfully installed a 2.6kW pilot grid-connect system in a four-story building in Lima. The system demonstrated how grid-connected PV systems work, and it helped to progress the discussion between Eco Solar and the utility company.