Nicaragua’s state-owned grid operator Enatrel announced it is conducting a feasibility study for distributed generation from solar.
The company said it is now assessing the feasibility of small-sized grid-connected power generators. This, Enatrel added, will enable the installation of PV and wind power systems for self-consumption at households, factories or government buildings. These installations, according to Enatrel, will be authorized to sell excess power to the local grid.
Meanwhile, in the past week, Nicaragua’s president Daniel Ortega has sent a bill to the local Parliament to reform the country’s energy law (Ley 272 de la Industria Eléctrica) and to introduce a net metering scheme for solar and renewable energy power generators.
If approved, the reform would allow the country’s power distributors Disnorte and Dissur to buy excess power from small power producers.
The Ministy of Energy and Mines (MEM) said in January that the reform defines the technical procedures for net metering and distributed generation. In the document, the MEM said it aims at increasing the share of renewables in the country’s energy mix from 55% in 2018 to 64% in 2023 and 73% in 2030.
In the past week, the MEM had also released the new maximum prices for the contracting of new renewable energy power facilities. The maximum price for solar was reduced from $118/MWh to $70/MWh. This move, according to several media reports, could slow down investment in large-scale solar project in the country.
Currently, the government of Nicaragua is contracting power from new large-scale solar and renewable energy projects by direct agreements and not through an auction mechanism.