Colombia readies first ever offshore wind tender

The Colombian government is planning to launch its first tender for offshore wind energy in August, according to the country’s energy and mines minister, Irene Velez.

Columbian energy minister Irene Velez said the tender documents should be ready by August (Image credit: Sebastian Barros/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Speaking during a government visit to Portugal with Colombian president Gustavo Petro, the minister said that the auction would cover maritime areas off Colombia’s northeast Atlántico department.

“We have been organising this since the first day we came into government, and the tender documents should be ready in August,” she said.

“The area is going to be subdivided and should fit between four and six offshore wind projects,” Velez explained. “The important thing is to tell investors that now is the moment for Colombia.”

It would be the first tender for offshore wind in Latin America, but it is not yet clear what format the auctions will take, such as a lease sale or via offtake agreements.

Under his national development plan for Colombia, Petro has promised radical action to advance the country’s energy transition, and called for a ban on oil and gas exploration while preparing to shut down the country’s open cast coal mines.

A World Bank study published last year estimated that the country could develop up to 50GW of offshore wind capacity, or three times its current onshore generation capacity. 

BlueFloat and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners are two companies that are paying attention to Colombia’s offshore potential.

Colombia expects that part of the electricity generated through offshore wind facilities will be used to produce green hydrogen.

“Being here in Portugal is very important because…Portugal…wants to be the port of entry where green hydrogen imports arrive and can be distributed through the rest of the continent - and we want to be on the other hand the place where the green hydrogen arrives from,” the minister explained.