Colombia awards 1.39 GW of wind and solar in Reliability Charge auction


XM Compañía Expertos en Mercados (XM), a subsidiary of the Colombian state transmission company ISA, has contracted 1.39 GW of solar and wind capacity in the Reliability Charge auction held on Friday.

The Reliability Charge auctions were introduced by the Colombian government in 2006 to ensure power supply during droughts. The latest exercise assigned contracts for 2022-2023 to 70 generation plants, of which 23 have yet to be built.

The list of selected projects published by XM included only two PV projects – El Paso Solar, by energy company Emgesa and the Loma Solar plant of Enel Green Power Colombia. Five wind power plants also won contracts but most of the winning projects were hydroelectric and thermoelectric.

As reported by Colombian energy regulator CREG in a statement, the auction allocated 250.55 GWh of power daily in Obligations of Firm Energy contracts, of which 37.37 GWh corresponded to new generation projects. “The closing price of the auction was $15.1/MWh  – COP46.46/kWh. This value is 11% lower than the reliability charge resulting from the last auction, which is the one currently in effect – $17.01/MWh,” said CREG.

Renewables garner 6%

Some 4,010 MW of firm power was contracted in the procurement exercise. Minister of energy and mines María Fernanda Suárez welcomed the first contracts awarded to solar and wind in the auction as a step towards an energy system incorporating large volumes of renewables. However, only a few days earlier not a single project was selected in the first renewable energy auction held in the Latin American country.

Colombia’s National Mining and Energy Planning Unit said the bids received did not comply with the criteria for competition and market dominance. Enel Green Power, Canadian Solar, Trina Solar and Solarpack were among the developers admitted to the auction’s final phase.

A repeat of the auction, with amended rules, is set to be launched by the end of June, Minister Suárez said after the failed exercise.

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