Diverxia secures approval for 240 MW solar park in Colombia

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Spanish infrastructure project developer Diverxia has secured approval for a 240 MW solar project in Colombia from national mining and energy planning unit UPME.

Diverxia told pv magazine the project will compete in the Colombia’s first auction for large-scale renewable energy projects, to be held on February 26. “If we won’t win the auction, we will prepare [for] the next auction,” a spokesperson for the developer said. “In any case, it is being intensively explored with several offtakers, the possibility of the signature of a PPA.”

The solar plant, in the northern department of Atlántico, is expected to generate around 469 GWh per year and will cover 530 hectares. “We expect to obtain the few permits that remain during this year, and to be able to start the construction of the plant in the course of 2020,” the company added.

The project is the largest solar plant approved by UPME to date. Italy’s Enel is building an 86 MW plant in the department of Cesar, also in the north of Colombia, and domestic renewable energy company Celsia is building an 80 MW PV plant in Los Santos, in the department of Santander.

Under the bidding terms of Colombia’s pending auction, power plants operational since December 31, 2017 will be entitled to participate alongside new projects.

Through the technology-neutral auction, which is expected to assign 1-1.5 GW of renewable energy capacity, the Colombian authorities will select solar, wind and biomass projects with capacities of more than 10 MW.