El Salvador launches auction for 150 MW of renewable energy


Today, Salvadoran electricity company Delsur published the timetable and preliminary rules for a solicitation to supply electricity distributors with the output of 150 MW of renewable energy plants. 100 MW of this will correspond to solar PV and the remainder wind projects.

This is the second solicitation for renewable energy projects in El Salvador. The nation could increase its solar PV capacity from 15 MW to more than 200 MW in the next three years, according to a report published last year by the National Energy Council (CNE).

PV projects from five to 40 MW will be eligible to participate in the auction, and projects will need to begin generating electricity in February 2019. 20-year power purchase agreements will be awarded.

Two years ago, El Salvador held a solicitation for renewable energy power plants. In this auction four PV projects were awarded which total 94 MW, at prices from US$102-123 per megawatt-hour. The contest was equally open to wind projects and solar, however only solar PV projects were awarded.

One of these projects, the Providencia Solar, secured financing from the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) at the end of last year. Under the rules for the first auction, the plant is required to begin delivering electricity in October of this year.

Additionally, El Salvador has held a auction for distributed generation projects, in which more than 11 MW of solar PV projects have been awarded. Most of these projects are already in service.

Similar to El Salvador, other nations in Central America have awarded PV projects in distribution company auctions. In the case of Panama, the first solar auction was completed a year ago and awarded 678 gigawatt-hours, which can be met on an annual basis with around 60 MW of PV. Additionally, in Guatemala 85 MW of solar PV which was awarded in auctions has been built.

Another nation in the region which has incorporated a larger volume of solar is Honduras, although in this case it has not carried out auctions. As of last November, the nation's PV capacity already stood around 450 MW, which made Honduras the largest PV market in the region.

This article was translated by Christian Roselund. For the original version in Spanish, please see the pv magazine Latinoamérica website.

Correction: This article was changed at 4:45 PM on February 10, to correct prices for electricity from solar PV in El Salvador's first renewable energy auction. The incorrect price figure was due to an error in the original article, and both the English and the Spanish versions have been changed.

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