Colombia to hold first auction for large-scale renewable projects

Colombia to hold first auction for large-scale renewable projects

The Colombian government is planning on starting a series of new large-scale renewable energy projects through holding an auction next year. It will take place before the presidential election in May 2018 and concentrate on solar, wind and biomass projects.


Earlier this month, a conference on the Colombian energy market was held in Cartagena, Colombia. This occasion, taking place on November 3, was used by the country’s Minister of Mines and Energy Germán Arce Zapata as a platform for his announcement regarding the country’s first large-scale renewable energy auction.


Only few details revealed

A press release by the Ministry of Mines and Energy followed soon after. It confirmed that the auction, the first of its kind in Colombia, will be held before the presidential election on 27 May 2018. During its course, the government will select various large-scale solar, wind and biomass projects. For now, this is the only information revealed on the topic; further details such as the specific date or the capacity on offer were not mentioned.


Colombia aiming to increase renewables’ part in energy mix

As for now, Colombia is largely dependant on hydropower. However, the country intends to increase the share of renewables in its energy mix – hence the auction. By 2028, the country wants to have reached a cumulative power generation capacity of over 25 GW. Solar is intended to make up as much as 240 MW of this.

The Decreto 348, published in March 2017, is another step in this direction: a new legislation to support the installation of small and medium-sized renewable energy and solar power generators across the country.


Solar market in Colombia to grow with multiple registered projects

Colombia’s only functional PV plant at this point was built by local energy company Celsia and is 9.9 MW in size. It is part of Celsia’s plan of bringing 250 MW to Colombia and Central America.

It is very likely that Celsia’s plant will not be the only one for much longer. By the end of 2016, a remarkable 160 solar projects with a total capacity of 1.2 GW were already registered and may be competing in the upcoming auction.


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