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Verano Capital's 47-MW solar project wins in Chile with USD 25.4/MWh bid

Project render. Source: Verano Capital

November 9 (Renewables Now) - Verano Capital said Wednesday a 47-MW solar project initially developed by the firm was successful in Chile's latest power tender with a record-setting bid of USD 25.38 (EUR 21.89) per MWh.

This is the lowest 24/7 block price bundling together solar and wind ever for energy tenders, the Santiago-based American project developer said. The solar project will be combined with wind projects to supply power on a 24/7 basis over a period of 20 years.

The results of the tender, where bidders competed for 20-year contracts to supply a total of 2,200 GWh a year, were announced by the Chilean government last week. The auction saw the average price fall to USD 32.5 per MWh. The winning projects are all renewable and represent 600 MW of capacity.

"It was an extremely competitive tender. Contracts were awarded at an average price of USD 32.50/MWh, which represents a 75% drop from the peak of USD 130/MWh reached in the 2013 tenders," commented Verano Capital chief executive Dylan Rudney. "These are the lowest renewable energy prices we have ever seen on a 24/7 energy auction anywhere in the world," Rudney further said, adding that this underpins a trend where conventional energy sources are no longer able to compete with increasingly low renewable energy costs.  

Chile's latest tender allowed bids in hourly and seasonal blocks. Below is a summary of the results:  

Awardees Awarded energy (GWh/year) Average price (USD/MWh) % of total
Enel Generacion Chile SA 1,180 34.7 54
Energia Renovable Verano Tres Spa 540 25.4 25
Atacama Solar SA 220 36.5 10
Cox Energia Spa 140 34.4 6
Atacama Energy Holdings SA 120 34.1 5
Total 2,200 32.5 100

Italian energy group Enel SpA (BIT:ENEL) already said it will provide the power supplies awarded to the company through 242 MW of projects, including 116 MWp of solar, 93 MW of wind and 33 MW of geothermal.

VERANO CAPITAL'S PLANS    

Verano says it has ambitious growth plans in the "booming" Latin American renewable energy sector. In Chile, it is active in the PMGD development market, a segment covering projects with a capacity of up to 9 MW and a connection to the distribution grid which are governed by a special regime.

The company has submitted a 100-MW project in Argentina's renewable energy tender, whose outcome is expected this month, and plans to expand to Colombia this year.

(USD 1 = EUR 0.863)

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Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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