Colombian developers think big ahead of September auction


The Sebastosol PV project has 700 MW of capacity and is the largest PV project to have obtained approval in Colombia to date.

The huge facility is one of several large scale schemes included in the registry compiled by Colombia’s Mining and Energy Planning Unit.

The Sebastosol project, in the town of Cimitarra in the Santander department, entered the registry on May 14. The developer is Sebastosol SAS ESP, and the project could be carried out at the Sebastopol refinery in Cimitarra belonging to state-owned oil company Empresa Colombiana de Petróleos. The oil company last year announced plans to install PV at its facilities, starting with a 20 MW plant for the Castilla oil field, the second largest in Colombia.

More projects of more than 99 MW

The second largest project that has entered the Colombian registry is the SC Solar San Martin 300 MWp plant – actually 240 MWac – that developer SC Solar SAS wants to build in El Paso, in the department of Cesar. The largest PV plant in Colombia at present is also in Cesar: the 86 MW El Paso solar park developed by Italian company Enel.

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The registry also includes another five PV projects with a generation capacity of 200 MW, one with output of 181.2 MW, another of 120 MW, one with 102 MW, three of 100 MW and another three of 99 MW, on top of numerous smaller facilities.

Ready for the September auction

The registry currently consists of 59 projects with a combined 3.55 GW generation capacity. Most of them are expected to compete in the next renewables auction the Mining and Energy Planning Unit will hold, on September 30. Selected plants will have to start commercial operation by 2022.

The country’s first auction for large scale renewables, held at the end of February, concluded without any procurement because the offers received did not meet the criteria for ensuring market competition. That exercise saw 15 companies submit bids for 22 projects: 17 of them solar alongside four wind projects and a biomass facility.

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