Verano Capital, an American project developer based in Santiago, has announced that the 47 MW solar project they initially developed was selected in Chile’s latest energy tender with a winning bid of $25.38/MWh, the lowest 24/7 block price combining solar and wind ever recorded in the history of energy tenders.
The winning bid was offered by a solar project which will be coupled with wind projects to offer 24/7 supply over a 20-year period. Dylan Rudney, CEO of Verano Capital, who originally designed and developed the solar project before partnering with the fund who eventually took the project to bid, expressed his satisfaction with the results of the tender.
It was an extremely competitive tender. Contracts were awarded at an average price of $32.50/MWh, representing a 75% drop from the peak of $130/MWh achieved in the 2013 tenders. These are the lowest renewable energy prices ever seen in a 24/7 energy auction anywhere in the world. The direct beneficiaries will be Chile’s energy consumers, but it also underpins the changing trend in the energy industry, where conventional energy sources are no longer able to compete with increasingly low renewable energy costs.
Verano Capital, whose core business is to offer turnkey development, EPC, O&M and asset management services to investment funds, has ambitious growth plans going forward. Verano is the leader in the PMGD distributed generation market in Chile, with five utility-scale projects in operation and five more coming online in 2017. In addition, the company has over twenty projects seeking equity under development, representing a 150 MW pipeline to be commissioned over the next 18 months.
Verano, which currently has offices in Chile, Argentina and the US, is set to expand to Colombia this year. It also submitted a project totalling 100 MW in Argentina’s upcoming renewable energy tender, whose results are expected this month.