Argentina awards 400 MW of solar projects and announces second round in November

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The Argentine government has announced awards for 1.1 GW of renewable energy projects in the first auction round of the RenovAR program, of which 400 MW corresponded to solar projects. The government has also announced a second round (“Round 1.5”) in November which will include a quota for 200 MW of PV projects.

The median price for PV projects awarded in Round 1 was around US$59.75 per megawatt-hour (MWh). Specifically, the project in Salta bid in at $58.98/MWh and three projects in Jujuy presented a price of $60/MWh.

At this time three solar PV plants have been awarded, each with a capacity of 100 MW (Cauchari 1,2 and 3), which comprise one project in Jujuy Province. This 300 MW project in Jujuy corresponds to JEMSE SE, a partnership between Power China, Shanghai Electric and Talesun, as revealed by the Jujuy government following the opening of economic bids last week. Investment in the project is estimated at US$340 million.

The other PV project awarded, the 100 MW La Puna solar project, is located in San Antonio de los Cobres, in Salta Province. The provinces of Salta and Jujuy are located in Northeastern Argentina.

Wind and solar made up 90% of the winning project in the first round of the auction. The government estimates that the 1.1 GW of renewable energy projects awarded represent an investment of US$1.8 billion, and the median price of the auction was around $59.6/MWh.

Developers submitted bids for 123 projects, with around 6 GW of potential. Of these 58 projects, with a combined capacity of 2.8 GW, were PV projects.

New solar and wind auction in November

The Argentine government announced on Friday that the projects which were submitted for this first round could also participate in a second auction round (Round 1.5), which will be held in November.

In round 1.5 600 MW of solar and wind projects will be awarded. For solar, the quota is currently at 200 MW. For this round, the government has given requirements for the location of the projects. For the solar projects, 100 MW can be located in the Northeastern region, and the other 100 MW can remain in the rest of the nation.

Bids will be accepted until November 11. The date for awarding of projects is planned for November 25.

Argentina has set a goal to reach 8% renewable energy by 2017, and to reach 20% by 2025.

The winning renewable energy projects from Round 1 are expected to provide 3.9 terawatt-hours annually, which is equivalent to 2.9% of Argentina’s electricity consumption. Considering the current capacity of renewable energy, the government estimates that when the projects awarded in Round 1 are put online, it will reach 5% renewable energy in its annual mix.

Round 2 of the RenovAR program is planned to launch next May.

Traducido por/translated by Christian Roselund. Para leer el original en Español, por favor vea el sitio del web pv magazine Latinoamérica.