Colombia

Colombia

Wind beaten by solar in Colombia’s latest renewables tender

Several firms bid for wind farms in South American country’s latest auction round, but solar developers beat them all

Colombia's sole wind farm, the 19.5MW Jepírachi project in the northern region of La Guajira (pic credit: Jorge Mahecha/Wikimedia Commons)
Colombia's sole wind farm, the 19.5MW Jepírachi project in the northern region of La Guajira (pic credit: Jorge Mahecha/Wikimedia Commons)

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No wind energy projects were awarded contracts in Colombia’s latest renewable energy tender as a series of solar PV projects won all the capacity on offer.

This was despite several companies bidding for wind farms in the auction round.

Fifteen-year contracts were awarded to eleven solar energy projects with a combined capacity of 793MW. 

The projects, which will require investment totalling COP 3.3 trillion ($874 million), must begin to supply power to the grid from January 2023.

The contracts were awarded an average weighted price of COP 155,800/MWh ($41.30/MWh).

“The success of this new auction shows that the energy transition in Colombia is a reality,” said mines and energy minister Diego Mesa.

The tender will increase the installed capacity from renewables on Colombia’s national grid by more than a fifth, according to grid operator XM, which ran the tender.

However, despite the presence of several companies pushing wind power projects among the 22 participants, none managed to secure a contract.

The result contrasts with that of Colombia’s first two renewable energy tenders held in 2019 which awarded contracts to wind farm projects with a combined installed capacity of 1GW. These are now under construction in the blustery La Guajira peninsula which juts out into the Caribbean Sea.

Offshore blueprint

Meanwhile, the Colombian government plans to unveil its roadmap for developing offshore wind capacity during the first quarter of next year.

The document is being developed with support from the World Bank and the UK government, said Deputy Energy Minister Miguel Loreto during a fact-finding mission to Denmark.

The Colombian delegation visited the Danish Energy Agency, the Port of Esbjerg – a key logistics hub for the country’s offshore wind energy industry – and the Vestas turbines factory. The Danish manufacturer is producing turbines for Isagen’s Guajira wind farm in La Guajira.

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