Developers have taken advantage of new rules to cancel four wind farms with a combined capacity of nearly 150MW under development in Argentina.
Under a ruling issued last June, the secretary of energy enabled companies awarded contracts through the Mater tenders to withdraw their projects, allowing rival developers to take the contract and the assigned transmission capacity.
The energy secretary had hoped this would kickstart investment in Argentina's renewables sector by freeing up demand and transmission capacity for viable projects.
All four cancelled wind farms are located in the province of Buenos Aires. They are Eolicos del Fin del Mundo’s Las Armas (assigned capacity 50MW), Autotrol Renovables’ Wayra I (49.4MW) and Vientos Punta Alta’s Santa Teresita (12.6MW) and Santa Teresita – A (37.4MW).
The four wind farms had secured contracts in Mater tenders between September 2017 and September 2018. Mater tenders connect renewable energy generators or distributors with large power consumers.
In a report, Argentina’s wholesale power market operator Cammesa stated that a total of 16 renewables projects totalling 313MW have been withdrawn. The rest of the cancelled projects are solar PV plants.
Investment in renewables in Argentina has tumbled in recent years as developers struggle to secure financing amid the country’s continuing economic crisis. Earlier this month, the president of the Argentinean Wind Energy Chamber René Vaca Guzman estimated that wind energy projects with around 1.5GW of capacity are currently stalled largely due to a lack of financing.
To help developers raise loans and advance to construction, the government has reduced financial requirements and penalties on projects awarded power purchase agreements (PPAs) under the renewable energy tenders held since 2016.
Projects awarded deals to supply private consumers could also opt to withdraw from the contract with no penalty, freeing up assigned transmission capacity for another developer.