Construction to begin on first ever solar power plant in Colombia

Image: Celsia

Colombian developers Celsia say that the project, the first solar plant in Colombia will be located in the southwestern region of Valle del Cauca.

The plant will be built and operated by Celsia subsidiary EPSA. Construction is expected to take about six months, and the project should come online in the third quarter of 2017, says a press release from Celsia.

The 9.9 MW plant will be the first to be installed in Colombia, where up until now the largest PV arrays have been commercial rooftops in the range of several hundred kilowatts.

“Installing this farm will be a dream come true for us, says Celsia President Ricardo Sierra. “For more than four years we have been working, learning and experimenting with solar power in small scale projects.”

The plant will be located on 18 hectares of land in the municipality of Yumbo, to the north of Cali. The land was previously occupied by the Termoyumbo coal generating plant, which closed down more than 20 years ago.

“It is very symbolic for what is going to happen in this area: the transition from fossil fuel production to the renewable energy future.” Said Celsia’s Sierra.

The plant will consist of 35,000 PV modules, with estimated annual generation of 16 GWh.

Celsia also points out its solar energy investment plan, with further projects planned in Valle del Cauca, and in Bolívar and Santander provinces, as well as Panama.

“We are looking to acquire capacities for the development of large scale PV projects in Colombia, Panama and other countries in the region,” said Celsia representative Carlos Salazar.

PV projects registered in Colombia have increased significantly in the past year. As of December 2016, 160 solar projects with total capacity of 1.2 GW were registered, compared to just 120 MW in February of the same year.