Colombian oil company Ecopetrol SA (NYSE:EC) is supporting a 26-MWp solar project in the department of Huila, southern Colombia, in an effort to power its own operations and reduce regional emissions.
Ecopetrol said that is has awarded a contract for the project development to utility AES Colombia, a subsidiary of Chile-based power company AES Andes SA and part of US group AES Corp (NYSE:AES).
Subscribe for Renewables Now's Corporate PPA Newsletter here for free!
AES Colombia will build the solar farm, full name Ecoparque Solar Brisas, and deliver its output to Ecopetrol under a 15-year power purchase agreement. Brisas will span close to 20 hectares (49.4 acres) in the municipality of Aipe, in Huila, where AES Colombia is to install over 48,000 bifacial solar modules.
Ecopetrol expects the plant to be become operational in the final quarter of 2022, the oil company said. Once online, the Brisas solar farm will help Ecopetrol power its operations at oil fields in Huila.
The Brisas project joins Ecopetrol’s two other solar initiatives aimed at self-supply -- the 21-MWp Castilla solar farm and the recently commissioned 61-MWp San Fernando in the department of Meta. AES Colombia executed both of these projects under long-term PPAs.
Ecopetrol has set a target to have 400 MW of renewable energy in its portfolio by 2023, with solar power making up around 340 MW of the planned total.
The company said it is also looking into wind energy, geothermal power, small hydroelectric plants, biomass energy and battery storage. Apart from these technologies, Ecopetrol is also developing a 50-kW electrolysis-based hydrogen pilot project, the company added.