Colombian oil giant announces solar projects


State-owned oil producer Empresa Colombiana de Petróleos (Ecopetrol) has said that it will build six solar parks across Colombia's Meta, Huila, Antioquia and Bolívar regions.

CEO Felipe Bayón said that the new projects will be finalized by the end of this year. It already has two operational solar facilities in the country's Meta department, and the new installations will bring its total installed PV capacity to 155 MW.

“These projects are part of our commitment to reach 400 MW of installed PV power by 2023,” Bayón said, noting that the company is integrating solar generation into its core business, which will remain focused on oil and gas throughout the decades to come.

The two operational solar plants have capacities between 10 MW and 15 MW. They are located at Ecopetrol's Castilla oil field, near the municipality of Castilla La Nueva, in the Meta department of central Colombia.

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According to a registry compiled by Colombia’s Mining and Energy Planning Unit (UPME), Sebastosol SAS ESP is now developing a 700 MW PV project at an oil field in the town of Cimitarra, Santander department. It entered the registry in May 2019.

There are currently 385 projects totaling 15 GW at different stages of development in Colombia, including four biomass installations, 17 wind farms, 93 hydropower dams, and 271 solar arrays, according to the UPME. The 271 solar projects have a combined capacity of 8,855 MW. The country's second renewable-energy auction, which will be open to large-scale PV projects, has been scheduled for the first quarter of next year.

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