Argentina: 516 MW of solar awarded at USD 54.95 per MWh

PV projects with a total capacity of 516 MW were awarded in the Round 1.5 of the renewable energy tender, according to an announcement from the Ministry of Energy Juan José Aranguren on Friday. The average price for the PV projects within the auction stood at USD 54.94 per MWh.

Each of the 20 solar plants has a capacity between 1 MW and 80 MW.

A quota of 200 MW has been established for distributed solar within this auction, made up of one block of 100 MW for the Northeast Region and another block of 100 MW for the Rest of the Country category. Of the PV projects that were awarded, five plants, with a combined capacity of 164 MW, are located in the Northeast Region.

Specifically, in the province of Catamarca the winning bids include a 23 MW plant in Saujil and a 11 MW plant in Fiambala from Energias Sustentables, and also the 15 MW Tinogasta project by Alejandro Ivanissevich. In the Salta province there is the 80 MW Cafayate plant from Isolux Ingenieria and in La Rioja there is the Nonogasta project from Fides Group.

In the Rest of the World category, 15 PV projects, with a total capacity of 354 MW, were successful in the auction. Specifically, six projects with a combined capacity of 94 MW are located in Mendoza province, seven projects with a combined capacity of 213 MW are located in San Juan and two projects with a combined capacity of 47 MW are in San Luis.

All of the projects located in Mendoza are initiatives from the Empresa Mendocina de Energias. One of the initiatives of this company, the 21 MW Anchoris project, set the lowest price for energy generated by solar within the tender, specifically, at USD 48 per MWh.

Also within those projects awarded as part of the Rest of the World category was a Jinko Solar project. This was the 80 MW Iglesia Guanizuli project in San Juan, while Fides Group was awarded the 25 MW Ullum N1 project that is also in San Juan.

The 20 winning projects are expected to generate 1,274 GWh annually, and they are expected to be operational by 2018.

Round 1.5 of the tender is the second stage of Round 1 of the auction, which was completed in October. It was launched for the companies that had registered for the auctions, but did not win within Round 1.

In the PV category, during Round 1 400 MW were awarded, which consisted of one 100 MW project by Isolux and Fieldfare in Salta, and three projects with a combined capacity of 300 MW from Jujuy Energy and Mineria Sociedad del Estado located in the province of Jujuy.

The average price for solar energy in Round 1 stood at USD 59.75 per MWh. This price was set as the ceiling price for the PV category in Round 1.5.

9% of renewable energy by 2018

As well as the 20 solar PV projects, 10 wind projects with a total capacity of 765 MW were also awarded in Round 1.5, which is almost double the quota of 400 MW that was set for wind technology within the tender. The average price of the wind projects that won stood at USD 53.34. These wind projects are added to the 12 wind projects, with a total capacity of 707 MW, that were awarded in October.

In May, the Argentine government set a quota of one GW for the Round 1 tender, which is the first renewable energy auction of the RenovAr program. In the auction in October, 29 projects of different renewable technologies were awarded with a combined capacity of 1,142 MW.

Additionally, a total of 30 solar and wind projects, with a combined capacity of 1,282 MW, were awarded during Round 1.5 last week. With that, this year there has been 2,424 MW of renewable energy awarded within Argentina. Specifically, solar energy had been given a quota of 300 MW for Round 1, so the 916 MW of PV that has been awarded in Round 1 and Round 1.5 is more than three times what was initially expected.

The government predicts that the projects that have been awarded this year will contribute to the goal of renewable energies reaching 9% of the country’s energy mix in 2018. The renewable projects from Round 1 will represent 2.7% and the projects from Round 1.5 will account for 3% of the energy mix in that year.

On the other hand, on Friday the Ministry of Energy Juan José Aranguren confirmed the government’s intention to reconvene the Round 2 of the RenovAr program next year. The energy authorities are currently evaluating the transmission capacity of the Argentine electricity system to specify the details of the next renewable tender. In the first quarter of the year, an inventory of the electrical system is expected to be completed.

The Argentine government is hoping the tenders of the RenovAr program will contribute a 10 GW capacity from renewable energy projects by 2025. This year, Argentine legislation established an objective of having renewable energies make up 20% of the country’s electricity mix.

This article was translated by Sam Pothecary. For the original in Spanish, please visit pv magazine Latin America.