5 Years of Nicamisol

This is our story

How did Nicamisol come to be?

My co-founder Felix and I met at Abuelita Tula’s birthday party shortly after we moved to Nicaragua. Our conversation quickly turned to our shared interest in renewable energies and my original plan for a three-year sabbatical in Nicaragua was out of the window.

Why did you start Nicamisol?

Just a few weeks after arrival, I recognized the large potential for solar energy in Nicaragua. High electricity prices, coupled with lots of sunshine, make solar energy a very attractive investment. Integrating battery storage can help to tackle the frequent grid outages. Being near the equator coupled with a relatively light rainy season, even allows to go all off-grid. In other words, great conditions for solar! Being on a sabbatical and free from daily commitments gave me the opportunity not just to recognize Nicaragua’s great potential for solar energy but to take action and start Nicamisol. In the following, I believe that my educational and professional background in solar energy were some of the key factors in making Nicamisol successful.

Do you remember your first project?

Yes, of course! Our first project was a system installation of 12 panels for my father-in-law. I vividly remember being on the roof with Felix, figuring out how to set everything up.  For all connections and the installation of inverter and batteries, we contracted a local electrician.

How did you go from there?

The first installation happened about half a year in – after setting up our website and database, sourcing different solar solutions, deciding on suppliers, and then waiting patiently for the equipment to arrive in Nicaragua. In the following, thanks to recommendations from happy clients, we experienced organic growth. We are grateful that our first clients were very patient, often waiting several months for us to get their equipment to Nicaragua. Now we are in a much better position to deliver quickly.

What were some key moments in Nicamisol's early days?

One year into operations, we hired Ronald, our main accountant. He did an excellent job transitioning our rudimentary bookkeeping from Excel to a professional accounting software, designed by my wife, a business consultant and EY alumni, and programmed by me. This was a strategic move in order to have all company processes in one place, including customer relationship management, project design and management, inventory management and control, and, of course, accounting.  

Another significant milestone for Nicamisol was bringing Jan on board as a partner. Jan lives in San Juan del Sur where many of our off-grid solar panel systems are located. Today, two years later, Jan has just completed the construction of his own 100% solar-powered home.

Where does Nicamisol stand today?

We are doing our very best to accelerate Nicaragua’s transition to renewable energies. Our nearly 300 installed solar panel systems primarily power homes with high energy demand from appliances such as air conditioners and pool pumps. Given the high specific price of electricity in the upper consumption brackets, our systems often pay for themselves in under five years. With our lithium batteries, homeowners can use the energy generated during the day throughout the night and ensure that lights stay on during grid outages.

What are your future plans for Nicamisol?

Having built trust with local financing institutions over the past five years as a highly reliable partner, we are now in the position to offer attractive financing and leasing options for our clients offering multiple benefits that accelerate solar deployment in Nicaragua. For our clients, the most appealing aspects of leasing are the low upfront costs and not having to worry about maintenance and insurance. With this relatively new option and the currently low prices for solar panels, we anticipate installing more large systems in the near future.

Additionally, we are expanding our operations to Costa Rica. We have already established Nicamisol Costa Rica and are developing initial projects there. Guanacaste, a province in northwest Costa Rica, shares a strong historical bond with Nicaragua, having been part of it until about 200 years ago. We’re excited to bring our Nica brand known for high quality systems and exceptional service to Costa Rica to represent the great work that comes from Nicaragua and its people.

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