Colombia to schedule renewables auction by end-October

The giant gavel of justice in Ohio. Author: Sam Howzit. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

April 21 (Renewables Now) - Colombia’s next renewable energy auction will be held no later than October 31, 2021, the Colombian ministry of mines and energy said in a new resolution, which this week has been released for public comment.

The auction will award 15-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) to projects of 5 MW and above, which will have to start delivering the contracted electricity as of December 1, 2022.

In early March, the ministry said it wanted new power projects to participate in the 2021 auction and excluded winners from the two procurement rounds in 2019 from bidding with the same projects this time. This was changed in a ministerial resolution two weeks ago, which allowed the parties with awarded firm energy obligations (OEFs) and long-term contracts to place their bids, but only for the block 3 -- a period from 1701 hours to midnight.

Other major eligibility rules, such as that projects must be registered with the mining and energy planning unit UPME, be approved at least at stage two and have connection rights in place, have not been changed.

Colombia’s two auction rounds in 2019 awarded OEFs and long-term contracts to 14 renewable energy projects totalling some 2,085 MW, but this capacity falls short of the country’s 2017-2031 plan for the generation and transmission expansion, the ministry said.

Under this plan, Colombia would need 2,886 MW of non-conventional renewables if the Hidroituango mega-dam project recovers from the severe damage it suffered in the spring of 2018 and starts operation. The failure to complete the large hydro project would put the country in the position to require 4,312 MW of renewables.

Based on projections by the national interconnected system operator dating from February 2021, 11% of unregulated demand for power and 35% of the regulated demand in December 2022 would not be covered by contracts, the ministry added in the new resolution.

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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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