Costa Rica 2018 | ENERGY | COLUMN

TBY talks to Mario Patricio Solís, General Manager, Coopesantos, on the sector.

Mario Patricio Solís

What is the advantage of operating as a cooperative instead of a traditional company?

If Coopesantos were a mercantilist company it would not have 99% electrification coverage as it is not profitable to expand its distribution lines to remote zones where there are few users. Around 91% of our market is residential, and it consumes 140kWh, the lowest in Costa Rica. We have little industry in this region. The main activity in the region is coffee growing and processing, and there is seasonal electricity consumption as harvesting time is mainly from December to March. The remaining eight months Coopesantos has an underused network.

What have been some of Coopesantos' greatest achievements?

We were the first energy distributor to change all its luminaries to LED technology. It generated two impacts, the first one was we get efficiency, namely low consumption, and greater well being overall. Coopesantos is the only company that has carbon certificates and trades internationally. Our wind power park obtained a clean development certification, granted by the UN. We also have the Gold Standard Award. We operate in rural zones where we have facilitated rural development by means of offering connectivity.