Argentina Will Auction 1 GW Renewable Electricity

Argentina has opened its first auction for the acquisition of renewable electricity.

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According to pv magazine, Argentina’s President, Mauricio Macri, has announced the opening of an auction for 1 gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy capacity. The auction targets adding a renewable portfolio into this nation’s energy mix by summer of 2017/2018, and with a deadline of March 21, 2018.

According to press information, provisional specifications will be published in one month, and interested companies will have an opportunity to comment on them. In June, the definitive terms of the auction are slated to be published. This will be managed by Cammesa, a public company administering the larger Argentine electricity market. The close of offers is planned for August, with completion of the auction scheduled one month later.

“Without knowing the final conditions, it is believed that new solar, wind, biomass and small hydro projects between 10 and 40 MW will be eligible to participate. With a target price of US$100 per megawatt-hour, it is expected that “roughly half of the capacity will be provided by wind parks”, as Argentine Minister of Mines and Energy Juan José Aranguren indicated recently in Houston, Texas.”

The government announcement represents the first call for an auction in Argentina since the October 2015 approval of the law of Renewable Energies, under which 20% renewable energy is planned for the nation’s energy mix by 2025. The law also mandates that 8% of electricity consumption come from renewable sources in 2017, a relatively high bar to achieve. Today, only 1.8% of the electricity in Argentina is generated using renewable energy.

But since assuming the presidency last December, Macri has shown a strong backing for renewable energy. In March, mechanisms were set to reach green objectives with the publication of decree 531/2016. This law plans for auctions to reach the 10 GW of potential necessary to achieve the renewable energy objective in 2025, among other mechanisms.

President Marci also expects the 1 GW auctioned will mobilize an investment of around $2 billion, while around 3 GW are expected to be auctioned in the next two years, which could mean an investment of around $5 billion.

Other South America nations are in the midst of conducting similar clean electricity auctions.

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