Ecuador’s government recent and upcoming tenders for new power infrastructure have created a pipeline of 4,220 MW of generation projects, but those upcoming competitive procedures will not invite non-conventional renewables.
All projects for non-conventional renewables have already been awarded or recommended for an award, according to Ecuador’s deputy minister of electricity and renewable energy Enith Carrion.
Speaking at the energy and mining ministry’s accountability presentation on Tuesday, Carrion said that her department is now preparing to tender two large-scale hydroelectric projects, one of 596 MW and another one of 2,400 MW.
Tenders for a 400-MW combined-cycle gas power plant and the 290-km Nororiental transmission line are ongoing, while the largest tender for non-conventional renewables, the Bloque 500 MW, is in the stage where the projects have been recommended for an award, according to Carrion’s rundown.
In those 4,220 MW, the energy ministry also includes renewable energy projects that were awarded over the past two years, namely the 110-MW Villonaco wind farm, the 200-MW El Aromo solar farm and the 14.8-MWp solar farm tied into a solar-plus-storage micro-grid hybrid.
Carrion’s presentation also contained other details about the state of Ecuador’s electricity sector and achievements in 2022. Among them is the first power produced by the 50-MW Minas de Huascachaca wind farm and the start of operation of two small hydroelectric stations.
At the end of 2022, renewables made up 65% of Ecuador’s total installed power generation capacity, but nearly all of the country's clean sources were hydro. Ecuador's non-conventional renewables outside hydro were represented by 49.72 MW of wind power and 27.76 MW of solar PV power installed, and 7.2 MW and 136.4 MW of biogas and biomass-based capacity.
As for the 2022 power mix, 75.67% of all electricity generated in Ecuador was renewable, 23.75% was non-renewable and 0.58% was imported. Wind and solar accounted for 0.18% and 0.12% of the total, respectively.
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