Colombia awards 1.3GW in rescheduled tender

Colombia's ministry of mines and energy (MME) has awarded power contracts for 1.3GW of wind and solar PV projects with a weighted average price of COP 95,600/MWh ($28.09/MWh) in its rescheduled renewables tender.

Colombia's sole wind farm, the 19.5MW Jepírachi project, will soon be joined by new facilities (pic credit: Jorge Mahecha/Wikimedia Commons)

The ministry selected eight projects — five wind farms (with a combined capacity of 1,002MW) and three solar PV arrays (288MW) — from seven generating companies to provide electricity to 22 utilities in its first auction for "non-conventional renewable energies".

It said the COP 95,600/MWh weighted average is about COP 50,000/MWh ($14.68/MWh) below the current generation price of bilateral contracts between energy traders and generators.

All five successful wind projects will be built in the northern department of La Guajira. Individual project capacities range from 80MW to 280MW.

The MME had sought to award enough capacity to generate 12,050.5MWh/day, but allocated 10,186MWh/day. It will decide on how to allocate the 1,864.5MWh/day remainder today (23 October), it added.

Energy buyers and traders will pay fixed contracted amounts to the successful generators — rather than paying for electricity consumed — under 15-year contracts.

The MME had initially held the tender in February, but did not award any contracts due to concerns over antitrust laws.

Colombia currently sources 70% of electricity from hydro, which makes it vulnerable to climate variability and water scarcity, energy minister María Fernanda Suarez said.

But with an increased wind and solar PV fleet, Colombia "will have an increasingly clean, resilient and environmentally responsible matrix," she added.

The ministry plans to increase its renewables fleet from less than 50MW today to more than 2.2GW by 2022.