Colombian renewables auction attracts 53 bids from 27 companies

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Colombia’s National Mining and Energy Planning Unit has announced 27 companies are interested in participating in the pending auction for large-scale solar and wind projects. The exercise will be held by the end of next month.

The list of bidders includes Spain’s Acciona, Solarpack and Cobra, Chinese manufacturers Trina Solar and Canadian Solar, France’s EDF and Greenyellow and Italy’s Enel, as well as several special purpose vehicles.

The mining and energy department said 26 power distributors will participating in the auction as buyers, including Colombian renewable energy company Celsia, state-owned oil business Empresa Colombiana de Petróleos (Ecopetrol) and Enertotal.

Projects selected in the auction will be entitled to a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) and generation assets must come into operation by January 1, 2022. Contracts will be linked to the Colombian peso and updated based on a Producer Price Index certified by Colombia’s National Administrative Department of Statistics.

Projects qualified for exercise

In a previous, failed attempt to hold the auction in February, 12-year PPAs were offered. No projects were assigned because the offers received did not meet criteria set for ensuring market competition. That exercise saw 15 companies submit bids for 22 projects: 17 of them solar plus four wind projects and a biomass facility.

In mid-July, the mining and energy unit revealed it had approved 90 renewables projects with a generation capacity of 6.27 GW over the past years. The agency said 70 of the projects – with a total capacity of 4,353 MW – were for solar parks. Around 800 MW of these projects were approved in Colombia from June to August.

The 700 MW Sebastosol facility approved at the end of May is the largest to have been green-lit in the country. The developer is Sebastosol SAS ESP, and the project would be carried out at the Sebastopol refinery in Cimitarra that belongs to Ecopetrol. 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.