Ecuador is seeking investors to develop 200MW of wind energy capacity as part of the country’s largest renewable energy tender to date, the government said on Monday (20 September).
As well as wind, the government is also seeking to develop 150MW of mini-hydroelectric capacity, 120MW of photovoltaic solar plants and 30MW of biomass generation. Investment in the 500MW renewables block is expected to total $875 million.
“This is the first significant and transformational push to incorporate renewables into our power supplies,” said vice minister for electricity and renewable energy Gabriel Arguello during a ceremony to launch the tender.
In parallel, the government is also seeking investors to develop 400MW of gas-fired thermoelectric capacity to supply power to the city of Guayaquil in the west. It also hopes investors will develop a power transmission system to supply electricity to the oil industry in the northeast of the country.
In the renewable tender, developers may present their own projects or use one of nine wind farm projects developed by the ministry with almost 580MW of installed capacity at different stages of development from exploration to feasibility.
Potential wind projects may vary in size between 10MW and 100MW.
Interested parties will have until October 2022 to present offers for 25-year concessions to supply electricity to leading distribution companies over the national grid. Once contracts are awarded, investors will have up to three years to connect their plants to the grid and begin injecting electricity.
There will be no pre-qualification stage of the tender with any company able to participate on payment of a $10,000 participation fee.
The government is already planning to launch a tender for a second block of 500MW towards the middle of 2022 as part of plans to add 1,000MW of renewables capacity by the middle of the decade.
Mainland Ecuador is currently home to just a single wind farm: the 16.5MW Villonaco I Villonaco I (16.5MW) OnshoreLoja, Loja, Ecuador, Central & South America Click to see full details wind farm developed by Carvisa Energia, while there are two small wind farms installed on the Galapagos Islands.
Meanwhile, the government is in the final negotiations with Cobrazero e Villonaco for the development of the 110MW Villonaco II and III Villonaco II and III (110MW) OnshoreMembrillo, Manabí, Ecuador, Central & South America Click to see full details wind farm. With an estimated capital investment of $181 million, the plant is contracted to supply electricity for the next 25 years at a tariff of just under $62/MWh.