Liberty’s Luquillo Facility Goes Solar
SAN JUAN – Oak Leaf Solar X LLC, a Yarotek affiliate, finished the installation of 2,444 solar panels at Liberty Puerto Rico’s facility in Luquillo, Liberty announced earlier this week.
Liberty entered into a long-term power-purchase agreement to buy its solar power from Oak Leaf Solar X, an affiliate of Yarotek, an independent power producer and developer focused on solar energy.
“Investing in renewable energy is one of the ways in which we can become a responsible corporate citizen while reducing operational costs,” said Naji Khoury, president and CEO of Liberty Puerto Rico.
The Luquillo facility was chosen for this project due to its size, energy needs and availability of space. Out of the 2,444 panels, approximately 70% were installed in a lot at the backyard of the property, while the other 30% were placed on the administration building’s rooftop.
Ciro Energy Partners, who contributed a portion of the solar panels, took all the necessary steps to enable the project to qualify for the U.S. Treasury Department’s 1603 cash-grant program.
The 745.8 kWp (kilowatt peak) solar system is capable of generating more than 1 million kWh (kilowatts-hour) of direct current (DC) electricity. The system received permits from the Permits Management Office and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa).
The solar system converts sunlight into DC electricity. The DC electricity generated from the panels is then wheeled through 24 inverters, which convert the DC electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity. The AC electricity then travels through a series of transformers and equipment to be measured and balanced. The filtered and balanced AC electricity is finally used to power the Luquillo facility.
During daylight hours, the Luquillo facility consumes most of its electricity from Yarotek’s solar system. This reduces dependency on costly and volatile electricity from the local grid.
“Solar energy helps us to pay for energy at a much lower and stable price. This minimizes our impact on the environment and reduces operational costs,” said Javier Díaz, Facilities and Fleet senior manager at Liberty Puerto Rico.
The installation was mechanically concluded by Rosendin Construction Puerto Rico in December 2015. The system went through a series of tests and became fully operational earlier this year. Currently, Liberty and Yarotek are evaluating the possibility of implementing solar energy in another of Liberty’s facilities.