Colombia’s first solar park comes online

Colombian renewable energy company Celsia has finalized a 9.8 MW Celsia Solar Yumbo project in the municipality of Yumbo, in Colombia’s southwestern region of Valle del Cauca.

The solar park, which is the first ground-mounted and MW-sized PV installation in the country, was connected to the national power network Sistema Interconectado Nacional.

The project was developed by Celsia’s unit EPSA, which started construction on the facility in February. The plant consists of 35,000 PV modules, provided by Chinese manufacturer JinkoSolar, with estimated annual generation of 16 GWh.

The solar park is located on a surface that was previously occupied by the Termoyumbo coal generating plant, which closed down more than 20 years ago.

Celsia is planning to deploy 250 MW of PV capacity in Colombia and Central America. Further projects are planned in Valle del Cauca, and in Bolívar and Santander provinces, as well as Panama.

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

Colombia is currently turning to solar and renewables in order to diversify its electricity mix, which is largely dependent on hydropower. In March, the government published the Decreto 348 del 1 de marzo de 2017, a new legislation to support the installation of small and medium-sized renewable energy and solar power generators across the country.