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Panasolar solar photovoltaic energy project in Panama
Aerial view of Panasolar project in Aguadulce, Panama

The sun is beating down during the two and a half hour drive southwest of Panama City via the main highway. Dust kicks up as you turn onto a dirt road, and 15 minutes later the landscape opens up into a sea of metal and silicon. Allow me to introduce you to Panasolar, a 12.4 MW solar photovoltaic energy project in which Deetken Impact Sustainable Energy has invested.

The project was completed in May 2019, taking approximately 12 months to be built,  and generating approximately 100 temporary jobs, in addition to the 10 permanent positions that will be created over its lifetime. 

The major shareholders and champions of this project are two Italians with an extraordinary vision, Mr. Enrico Desiata and Mrs. Frances Rocca, a  married couple with two kids. They started the development of this project in 2012, and despite setbacks and obstacles with government permits, an initial lack of financing, and market changes, they persevered and finally achieved their goal of building their solar plant.

Deetken Impact Sustainable Energy played an instrumental role in the completion of the project by together with the Interamerican Corporation for Infrastructure Financing (CIFI) joining the project as preferred shareholders of Panasolar, bringing financial, technical and socio-environmental expertise, as well as support to the Corporate Governance structure of the company.

This project is expected to reduce 24,000 tons of CO2 annually and generate 19 GWh per year of clean energy. It has reached exacting standards, in compliance with IFC performance standards, Ecuador principles, and the Gold Standard certification process.

Mr Desiata and Mrs Rocca realized that there was more work to be done in that area in addition to the solar plant.  The Municipality of Aguadulce, where the project is located, has a population of 9,000 people, including residents of the Vista Hermosa and Llano Sanchez communities. The average family  income in this region is 5-10 USD per day, with the main activity in the area being sugar cane and salt production.

(Left and Right side) Enrico Desiata and Francesca Rocca, majority shareholders of Panasolar. (Centre) Luisa Torres – president of the Aguadulce water committee.

They met with community leaders of the two nearest communities to the project site, Vista Hermosa and Llano Sanchez, to determine their immediate needs, and how Panasolar could collaborate with them. They also met with the mayor of Aguadulce, to communicate their plans, and obtain the approval of the Municipality.

Based on these meetings they decided to launch the following initiatives:

  • New Well and Water Pumping System: Panasolar provided a new well and water pumping system to the community of Aguadulce, benefitting 250 people. The project provided all required materials needed to build the well and a new pumping system. The community provided the labor to build this project. According to Mrs. Luisa Torres, president of the community’s water committee, this new pumping device has been  “life changing for all of them” as in the past they were only able to pump water for the community for 3-4 hours per day, and now with the new pumping system they are able to pump 8-10 hours per day. 
New well and water pumping system in Aguadulce, Panama

  • New Fence for Llano Sanchez school: They provided materials for and installation of a much needed fence to Llano Sanchez school, that would ensure the safety of students and prevent robberies and vandalism to equipment and school property.  

Additionally, Pansolar has supported the communities as a sponsor of soccer tournaments and community fairs, both of which help bring people together. And they have committed an annual budget to continue to support the most pressing needs of the communities of Vista Hermosa and Llano Sanchez. They will continue to evaluate with community leaders how these funds will be best utilized and distributed among the two communities.

Panasolar is clearly more than a solar photovoltaic energy project, and we at Deetken Impact Sustainable Energy feel honoured to partner with such committed individuals who are dedicated to bringing renewable energy and self sustainability to this beautiful region of Panama.


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Magali Lamyin, Director of Communications and Development for Deetken Impact

MAGALI LAMYIN

Director of Communications and Development

 

Magali brings extensive market intelligence, business development and marketing experience from her work at the Central Bank of Mexico, the Canadian Institute for Market Intelligence, and the IESE-PWC e-Business Centre in Barcelona. She also co-led national marketing campaigns for businesses in the hospitality and early childhood education sectors for almost a decade before joining Deetken. In her current role, she is responsible for leading Deetken Impact’s communications, marketing and branding strategy. She is also involved in the due diligence process for project selection with an emphasis in Mexico.

Magali holds a BA in Economics from Mexico's ITAM and a Master's degree in Economics from the University of British Columbia.

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Jose Lamyin, Managing Partner Deetken Impact

JOSE LAMYIN

Managing Partner

 

José has extensive experience as a business advisor for clients throughout Canada, Europe and Latin America in mining, telecommunications, and finance. Prior to co-founding The Deetken Group, José worked for Teck Cominco in Peru and Canada and Deutsche Bank in London (UK). José has spearheaded much of the strategic growth of Deetken Asset Management since inception and is currently focused on investment selection.

José received his BS in Engineering from the University of British Columbia and MBA from IESE School of Business (Barcelona). Born in Peru, José is fluent in English and Spanish.

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Alexa Blain, Managing Partner Deetken Impact

ALEXA BLAIN

Managing Partner

 

Alexa is responsible for finance, operations and investor relations at Deetken Impact. She brings over 10 years of experience in financial consulting and asset management, with specific expertise in company and investment analysis, business valuation and securities/corporate finance. Prior to joining Deetken, she spent three years with African Alliance, a pan-African financial services group, where she focused on expanding the firm’s retail financial services operations as well as on the origination and negotiation of new capital. In addition, Alexa has six years of asset management experience with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the Macquarie Group and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

Alexa is a CFA Charterholder. She has also completed an MA in Financial Economics and an Honours BA in Economics, both at the University of Toronto.

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Fernando Alvarado, Head of Deetken Impact Sustainable Energy

FERNANDO ALVARADO

CEO

Honduras Renewable Energy Managers (HREM) and Caribbean Renewable Energy Managers (CAREM)

 

Fernando Alvarado leads the General Partner and Investment Advisor of two clean energy and energy efficiency project finance and venture capital funds: Honduras Renewable Energy Financing Facility (H-REFF) and Caribbean Basin Sustainable Energy Fund (CABEF), which he structured and runs with a combined target capitalization of $100m.

Development Investment Banker with 28 years of international credit and investment experience and 18 years of direct experience assessing diversified renewable energy portfolios in Latin America & the Caribbean. He has participated in more than 50 syndicated credit and investment transactions for renewable energy projects in excess of $250 MM. He led the creation, structuring, fundraising, legal closing and portfolio construction of several specialized renewable energy funds.

Costa Rican, based in San Jose, Mr. Alvarado has an MBA in Banking and Finance cum laude from Universidad de Costa Rica.

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Carl Black, Portfolio Manager Deetken Impact

CARL BLACK

Portfolio Manager

 

Carl is a Portfolio Manager with Deetken Impact focused on analyzing and working with MSMEs, social enterprises, and renewable energy developers in Latin America and the Caribbean. His main responsibilities include supporting business development, managing technical assistance projects, leading investment due diligence, and monitoring portfolio performance. Prior to joining Deetken Impact, Carl worked for five years as a consultant, advising public sector clients an non profits in Canada and financial services companies in Latin America. He started his career at the Bank of Canada, where he researched issues related to household and business credit. 

Carl completed an Honours BA in Economics at the University of British Columbia. He also holds an MSc in Economics & Development from the University of Oxford, where he earned distinctions in quantitative and development economics.

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Cristobal Aguirre, Investment Analyst at Deetken Impact

CRISTOBAL AGUIRRE

Investment Analyst

 

Cristobal has over 6 years of experience in the asset management industry, where his responsibilities have ranged from asset allocation and portfolio management to risk analysis and software development. Before relocating to Canada, Cristobal worked as a senior investment analyst in AFP Habitat—Chile’s largest pension fund—where he led the tactical asset allocation and macroeconomic research for emerging markets.

Cristobal is a CFA Charterholder, and completed a BA in Economics at Universidad de Chile.

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Chad Parsons, Senior Investment Analyst at Deetken Impact

CHAD PARSONS

SeniorInvestmentAnalyst

 

Chad has worked as a consultant in business and technology for 20 years – often helping clients with their business transformation initiatives.    He has worked with start-ups, government, and established businesses to further their product and service offerings with a balanced approach.   After pursuing a research degree on leveraging technology for social and economic development; Chad has found a valuable alignment of his background with Deetken’s innovative impact investments. 

Chad completed a BS in Engineering from the University of British Columbia and has a MSc with distinction from the University of Manchester (UK).

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