Argentina's government last week launched a renewable energy auction, RenMDI, seeking 620 MW from different technologies to diversify the nation’s power mix and replace costly forced generation, typically provided by thermal and hydroelectric plants.
The auction comes in response to the call for expressions of interests, or MDIs for their Spanish acronym, that the Argentine energy secretariat issued in May 2022 and which saw it receive 491 project proposals for a range of renewables.
These proposals were evaluated for their impact on the grid, prices and the ability to displace thermal generation, with smaller scale projects found to be a suitable solution, the energy secretariat said.
The RenMDI auction will be focused on two goals: replacing forced generation with 500 MW of biomass energy, solar PV with or without energy storage and wind power with storage, and diversifying the power mix by incorporating 120 MW worth of biomass, biogas from organic sources, biogas from landfill sources and small hydro.
Projects in the 500-MW group can range from 3 MW to 20 MW, and are limited to six specific regions. Projects in the second group, the power mix diversification, can be between 0.5 MW and 20 MW and located anywhere in Argentina.
The energy secretariat set the ceiling prices as follows: USD 115 (EUR 107.02) per MWh for wind power with storage, USD 146/MWh for biomass-based power, USD 190/MWh for organic biogas, USD 160/MWh for landfill biogas and USD 130/MWh for small hydro.
The prices for solar with storage and solar without storage are set based on the region. The highest cap for solar without storage is USD 105/MWh for projects located in the four provinces in the northeast (NEA) region. The lowest is USD 75/MWh for projects in northwest (NOA) provinces. In between is the Buenos Aires region, where the solar is capped at USD 90/MWh.
For solar-plus-storage, the highest cap is USD 142/MWh in the NEA region and the lowest is USD 102/MWh in the NOA region.
Selected projects from both groups will be entitled to 15-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) denominated in US dollars.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.931)
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