Siete Palmas will become the first solar neighborhood in the Canary Islands

The Cabildo is going to promote shared self-consumption in Siete Palmas, with the idea of ​​replicating it in the rest of the island's cities. / carrasco

In September the meetings with the neighbors begin. The goal is to install solar panels throughout the area and achieve the highest level of self-sufficiency

Silvia Fernandez

Siete Palmas will become
the first neighborhood supplied with solar energy in the Canary Islands thanks to a pioneering project of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria. A team of about
20 people already work in the areaanalyzing the different residential and public buildings, such as schools, and their roofs in order to determine the number of solar panels that could be installed, the power of energy that will be generated and the potential savings for users, which can range between 20 % and 100% of the energy bill depending on the type of installation.

The vice president of the Island Council of Energy of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria (Ciegc),
Raul Garcia Brinkaddressed the advantages of this project that is already underway in a
round table organized by BBVA to analyze the situation of photovoltaic energy in the islands.

In addition to García Brink, the meeting was attended by the director of the BBVA Area of ​​Las Palmas,
Rosario Olaegui; the Director of Operations of SM Advance -company specialized in the sector-,
Alexander Marreroand the general director of Destiny Home - a real estate management company that has just completed a self-consumption tourist complex in Fuerteventura,
Oscar Maza.

The project will be replicated in other neighborhoods of the city

The Siete Palmas project would be reinforced by the largest urban solar plant to be installed by the Cabildo in the
Gran Canaria Arena (soon it will be public information) and with a power of 700 kilowatts (kv).

"The surpluses that are generated here could benefit the neighbors," said García, who considered that
the future of the energy transition goes through shared consumption. "We are going to stop being passive consumers and become prosumers, that is, producers and consumers at the same time," she said.

The first meetings will begin in September with the neighbors and shortly before, an informative campaign will be carried out, with the aim of achieving the involvement of the residents of the neighbourhood.

It will be a reality within two years

According to García Brink, the Siete Palmas self-consumption project, which is expected to become a reality within two years, is the advance guard to continue extending self-consumption to the rest of the islands' neighborhoods and cities. "We're sure it can become a cutting-edge neighborhood," he said.

The main 'but' The further development of photovoltaic energy on the islands and the installation of solar panels is due to ignorance and a misconception that this type of system is expensive. Although there are numerous projects and the sector is in "effervescence", as García Brink pointed out, there is still the belief that it is "expensive", Rosario Olaegui (BBVA) pointed out.

As indicated by the Director of Operations of SM Advance, Alejandro Marrero, the reality is very different.
The cost of a solar installation is between 3,000 and 5,000 euros but there are numerous subsidies and help lines that substantially reduce the investment.

Also,
Entities such as BBVA have designed different lines of support and financing to facilitate this type of project, as indicated by Olaegui.

“It is a profitable installation”

“It is the most profitable. In four years the investment is amortized and if there is a subsidy, there are two. The numbers come out by themselves", indicates Marrero, who points out that
the electricity bill can be reduced between 20% and 100%, depending on the installation. «Ten years ago he was expensive; today it is eight times smaller than then », he affirms. In addition, he adds that the product warranty is 25 years.

The general director of Destiny Home, Óscar Maza, considered it a priority for the tourism sector in the Canary Islands to continue advancing in self-consumption.

As he indicated, today's tourist has nothing to do with that of years ago and today many ask about the sustainable management of their resources before making the decision to travel. "There are tour operators that suggest working with us as long as we show that we work along the lines of energy efficiency," he said. In his opinion,
the tourist is "aware" and is looking for a green tourist destination.

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