Colombia renewables tender in 2021 to contract 5 GW

Colombia flag.

November 12 (Renewables Now) - Colombia will be offering more than 5,000 MW of capacity in the next renewable energy auction for long-term contracts scheduled for the first quarter of 2021, president Ivan Duque announced on Tuesday.

The procurement round will be oriented towards power retailers serving large industrial consumers and the projects would have to come online before December 2022, the president stressed in his speech at the inauguration event for the Bayunca 1 solar farm in Cartagena.

The auction terms will be defined by the ministry of mines and energy, which in a separate statement said that, while the large industry represents 29% of the national energy demand, possible participation of power companies serving households and small businesses will not be ruled out.

Colombia’s first successful renewable energy auction was held just over a year ago, with six wind and three solar farm projects securing 15-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with bidding retailers. The main round concluded with a weighted average price of COP 95.65/kWh (USD 0.026/kWh/EUR 0.022/kWh) for 10,186 MWh per day, which represented a discount of close to COP 50 compared to the average cost of generation appearing in PPAs at the time, the energy ministry then said. In the complementary round, the weighted average price reached COP 106.66/kWh.

In its Tuesday statement, the energy ministry said it expects the new auction to allow the country to take even more advantage of its solar potential, especially with more than 5,800 MW of solar projects that have been registered with Colombia's national mining and energy planning unit UPME.

The exact capacity of all solar projects registered with UPME is actually higher -- 6,657 MW across 196 schemes by October 31, according to UPME’s latest overview of all power projects. The figures show that Colombia’s solar pipeline dwarfs that of hydro (3,822 MW), thermal (1,658 MW), wind (3,005 MW) and biomass (25 MW) by the number of registered projects and the proposed installed power.

In his speech, president Duque also added that the Colombian government would be developing the green hydrogen road-map in collaboration with Chile this year and through the first quarter of 2021. He said that Colombia would have “at least two or three large-scale [green hydrogen] projects” commissioned so that the country could take part in what is becoming another big revolution in the clean energy space.

(COP 1,000 = USD 0.275/EUR 0.233)

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Sladjana has significant experience as a Spain-focused business news reporter and is now diving deeper into the global renewable energy industry. She is the person to seek if you need information about Latin American renewables and the Spanish market.

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