Guatemala has an irrigation system, unique in Central America, that works with solar panels, an official source reported today.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food (MAGA), the installation of the 1,000 panels was financed by the International Development Fund (IFAD) and cost about USD 534,759, as per El nuevodiario.
The irrigation system is located in the municipality of Cabañas, in the eastern department of Zacapa.
The source stressed that this is the first irrigation system in Central America that will work with solar panels, using renewable energy, to conserve the environment.
He explained that this unit will generate the necessary power for the water to flow through a gravity channel that in turn feeds the pumping system and transfers the liquid to the crop fields.
"This new agricultural technology will allow the replacement of diesel engines, generate clean energy and reduce electricity costs," he said without specifying the energy savings.
The project started in 2016 and included the rehabilitation of canals and improvement of the pumping area.
The system feeds water from the Motagua River and will allow the supply of vital liquid an extension of 740 hectares of crops, said MAGA. He maintained that the unit operates at 100 percent capacity and that the project will, directly and indirectly, benefit more than 4,300 Guatemalans.
According to the MAGA, they are currently working on the reactivation of 29 irrigation units nationwide to take advantage of surface and underground water resources, capture and store rainwater in rural areas, mainly in the so-called dry corridor where locates Zacapa, vulnerable to droughts.