Argentina launches 1.2 GW renewable tender, with 450 MW of solar

As part of the RenovAr program initiated last year, Argentinian authorities have launched a new renewable energy tender comprising 1.2 GW of projects, of which 450 MW have been set aside for solar PV.

In the tender announced in a resolution published in the Official Gazette, authorities will also seek to award 550 MW wind, 100 MW biomass, 35 MW biogas, 15 MW biogas from landfills and 50 MW small hydropower capacity.

The RenovAr program was initiated last year with the Round 1 and 1.5 tenders, in which more than 2.5 GW were awarded in renewable energy projects, around 900 MW of which was allocated for PV.

This time, Argentina has set a price cap of $57.04/MWh for PV projects, while wind was set at $56.25/MWh, biomass at $110/MWh, biogas $160/MWh, biogas from landfills $130/MWh and small hydro $105/MWh.

Back in Round 1, the median price for PV projects awarded was around $59.75/MWh, when 400 MW of solar was tendered back in October 2016. During round 1.5, when more than half of the quota was awarded to PV, totaling 516 MW, the average price for the PV projects within the auction stood at  $54.94/MWh.

In terms of location, somewhat isolated northwestern region of the country has been chosen as the place for the development of the Ronda 2 solar projects.

Offers for the Round 2 tender may be submitted up until October 19, while the signing of power purchase agreements is penciled in for November 29.

The financial backing for the round 2 projects will come from the Fund for the Development of Renewable Energies (FODER), whose funds are used to invest alongside developers, as well as serve as a guarantee for PPAs signed for the projects.

By the end of the year, Argentina aims to source 8% of electricity needs from renewable sources, and its 2025 target stands at 20%. According to the last available data, 59% of the electricity generated in Argentina comes from fossil fuels.