El Salvador launches auction for PV projects up to 2 MW in size

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El Salvador’s energy regulator Consejo Nacional de Energía (CNE) has launched an auction to select MW-sized renewable energy projects.

According to the authority, around 28 MW of power generation capacity will be allocated through the auction, with solar projects up to 2 MW and biogas projects not exceeding 1 MW in size entitled to participate. Ground-mounted and rooftop solar projects will be eligible.

The CNE expects to assign 20 PV and 8 biogas projects, and to grant 15-year PPAs to all of them. Selected plants will have to start commercial operations between 2020 and 2021 and electricity will be sold to local power distributor Delsur.

The Salvadoran government expects the auction will raise investment of $58 million.

El Salvador held its second, and latest renewable energy auctions in January 2017, with the CNE awarding 119 MW (DC) of solar energy and 70 MW of wind as four solar projects were selected. Two of the solar projects – each 50 MW in size – are selling power at $49.55/MWh and $49.65/MWh. The CNE also selected a 10 MW project selling power at $67.24/MWh, and a 9.9 MW facility offering $54.98/MWh.

The country’s first auction was held in 2014 and 96 MW worth of PV plants were awarded. Of this power, about 75 MW comes from the 101 MW Solar Providencia project – in the department of La Paz, 40km from the capital San Salvador – which began operating on April 1, 2017.