El Salvador begins auction process for 170 MW of renewables

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After a delay of more than one month, rules for the second auction for renewable energy projects in El Salvador have been published. Great interest in this contest where 170 MW of renewable energy will be auctioned was the reason for the call to auction, which was originally planned for May 1 and delayed until this week. The auction is open to solar PV and wind.

The rules dated June 7 plan for for a greater capacity to be auctioned, currently 170 MW instead of the 150 MW which was originally planned. The capacity reserved for wind increased by 20 MW to 70 MW and the 100 MW planned for solar PV was maintained.

In the previous auction for wind and PV plants more solar PV was auctioned than initially planned, with no wind projects winning capacity. In the previous auction only 100 MW of capacity was auctioned, and as Delsur stated in February the beginning of supply for winning projects in the first auction is planned for 2017.

According to the rules, the initial date of supply for PV projects awarded in this second contest will be April 1, 2019. PV projects between 5 and 50 MW will be eligible to participate, and winning projects will be awarded 20-year supply contracts.

The new timeline states that the auction will be resolved at the end of December. Currently the opening for financial bids is set for December 28.

The largest PV project completed to date in El Salvador is a 2.5 MW plant built by AES in Moncagua. Various solar projects around 1 MW in capacity awarded in a distributed generation auction have also been built. Currently none of the PV plants awarded in the last renewable energy auction have been completed.

Recently the InterAmerican Development Bank announced additional financing for the 100 MW Providencia Solar project, which is expected to be the first large utility-scale solar project in El Salvador. This project was awarded a contract in the previous auction, although this contract was for a smaller capacity than 100 MW.

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