Uruguay plans to sell solar for $90/MWh

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Bloomberg has reported that Uruguay’s President, Jose Mujica will sign a new decree in the next two weeks, which will require national utility, Usinas y Transmisiones Electricas (UTE), to purchase 200 MW of solar energy at a rate of US$90/MWh.

However, Jenny Chase, an analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance in Zurich, has cautioned that project developers may not be enticed by the low prices offered. "That level of compensation is very optimistic," she stated, adding that in Germany, developers are offered $154.53/MWh.

Ramon Mendez, Uruguay’s director of energy at the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining is more confident. "We’ve spoken to at least three companies who say they can sell at that price," he told Bloomberg. He added that if "the offer isn’t successful, ‘we just wait another couple of years for equipment prices to come down and we try again’."

Reportedly, developers will have four months after the decree is issued to submit project proposals. According to Mendez, project sizes could reach up to 50 MW. Meanwhile, the decree also includes bids for a one and five MW solar project, which will sell the generated energy to UTE under a 25 year PPA.