GWEC says Argentina should award at least 1 GW of wind contracts this year

Wind turbine in Argentina. Author: PABLO GONZALEZ.

Feb 9 (Renewables Now) - The government of Argentina should award wind power contracts for no less than 1 GW of capacity during upcoming tenders in 2017, the Global Wind Energy Council’s Latin America Committee chairman, Ramon Fiestas, told Renewables Now.

“This is the capacity that should be awarded during this year in order to fulfill the goals set by the government in the renewables energy law,” Fiestas said.

In October last year, the government awarded 17 contracts for a total of 1.1 GW of renewable energy in the RenovAr 1.0 tender, including 12 wind power projects of a combined 700 MW. In November, Argentina’s Energy Ministry awarded 20-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) to 30 projects in the Renovar 1.5 renewable energy auction, including 10 wind power projects of 765 MW in total.

Fiestas said that most of the projects that have won contracts in the two recent tenders would not have difficulties in obtaining the required financing. “These projects are in the process of securing their own financing channels,” he said.

Most of the renewable energy projects awarded in the RenovAr 1.0 and RenovAr 1.5 rounds should be operational in 2018, Fiestas.

“These initial projects are a positive step towards the normalisation of the investment in the local renewable energy sector,” Fiestas said. Under the previous government, rules for renewable energy projects were not clear enough, hurting the sector.

Fiestas stressed that international commercial banks will start to play a significant role in the financing of Argentine renewable energy once these institutions can have perceive a long-term stability in the market, in terms of public policies, regulation, and financial strength.

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