Guanacaste, Home to Costa Rica’s Largest Solar Park

Coopeguanacaste is the rural electric distributor in for most of the province of Guanacaste and they are very close to completing constructing the largest solar panel plant in all of Costa Rica with an installed capacity of 5 Megawatts (MW) and generating 9 Gigawatts (GWh) of energy per year.

The solar park is located in Belen de Carrillo, Santa Cruz, about a 40-minute drive down rt. 21 from the Liberia International airport. The main reason for picking Guanacaste is the abundance of sunshine. With Costa Rica’s goal of reducing its carbon footprint and working towards being fossil fuel free for the generation of electricity, is hoping to reduce about 1,500 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. This equates to roughly planting over 5000 trees to achieve the same thing.

According to data supplied by Panasonic, the company in charge of project design and construction, the solar park has 15,456 photovoltaic panels with high-efficiency HIT technology of 325 Watts each.

The park costs an estimated $8.6 million USD, funds came from the MGM Sustainable Energy Fund (MSEF), a private equity fund that promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Latin America.

If Green energy is a big thing for you there are some great options here in Costa Rica to add them to any home.

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Yes! Costa Rica Has Great Chocolate

When I first came to this country in 1999 I was looking for locally made, Costa Rica chocolate as I had read that there is a large cocoa-growing region in the country. What I found was a bit of a disappointment, but that has all changed.

Recently I came upon Chocolate Sibö. found it at a local tourist trinket shop. At first, I was thinking “ok I will spend the cash and hope it is at least ok”. I just had this craving for chocolate so what the heck, let’s give it try. I’ve wasted money on other stupid things in my life and well if good it would be a win-win for me. Well, I have to be honest with you, I am not a true connoisseur of fine chocolates but I have enjoyed some pretty good chocolates from all over the world in my time and Hershey Bars are not one of them. I was pleasantly surprised at how good the bar was and really enjoyed the rich flavor as it was sweet but not overly sweet. So I did a bit of looking online to find out more about this Costa Rica homegrown chocolate.  Julio Fernández, owner of Chocolate Sibö started the company with a clear business vision: to make world-class chocolate from Costa Rica utilizing exclusively organic cocoa grown in Costa Rica while trying to bring Costa Rica to the forefront of the cocoa industry.

Last month at the International Chocolate Awards, Sibö was awarded the silver medal for an apple and lemon-covered milk chocolate that contained 55% cocoa. There were over 650 competitors and Sibö was the only one from Central America that won an award for its chocolate.

However, when you are in Guanacaste, you need to stop by Cata Chocolate in Playa Del Coco, on the main road close to the beach located upstairs from the souvenir shop “Sussy”. You will be quiet impressed with the homegrown fresh chocolate made here. Lots to chose and I have never been disappointed with anything I purchased there. They use cocoa grown in the Bijagua Valley that is nestled between 2 volcanoes, Mirravales and Tenorio in Guanacaste and sit at an average of close to 1500 feet above sea level. Here is the website for Cata Chocolate, check it out you won’t be sorry.

So next time you come to Costa Rica, just don’t think of coffee, tropical fruits, great beaches and the list can on and on, stop and get some Costa Rica chocolate and enjoy.

Take a look at some of my great Costa Rica lots for sale; they go great with the local chocolate and coffee

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