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Argentina

Renewable power capacity (excluding small hydropower) in Argentina is expected to show a significant growth rate, registering a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.8% during 2019-2030. Renewable installations sector will increase by 14.7 GW in order to meet the increasing demand, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Argentina Power Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2019 – Market Trends, Regulations, and Competitive Landscape’, which provides analysis of the Argentina power market’s regulatory structure, import and export trends, competitive landscape, and power projects, reveals that the implementation of renewable energy auctions under the RenovAr Program is expected to boost the expansion of the renewable energy sector.

Some of the projects approved in various rounds of auctions in earlier years resulted in sudden increase in installations for solar and wind in 2018. The momentum will continue as around 4 GW of renewable capacity is under construction and will be commissioned in the near term In addition, financial incentives including accelerated depreciation and tax exemptions are being offered to encourage investment in renewable power generation.

Argentina has been facing severe power shortages in recent years, prompting the government to re-focus on increasing installed capacity. The current installed capacity is unable to satisfy demand, which is increasing at a high rate. There is substantial untapped wind and solar power potential in Argentina which presents opportunity for renewable to grow.

As of 2018, gas dominated the Argentina power mix, with a share of 59.6% of the total installed capacity, followed by hydropower with 25.5%. Argentina has substantial gas reserves, which accounts for its dominance in the power generation mix.

Although thermal power sources will remain the highest contributors to the total installed capacity of Argentina in the forecast period, their share will decline from 67.1% in 2018 to 50.0% in 2030. This decline will chiefly be due to the increase in renewable power capacity.

However, there are several challenges which impact investment in the Argentina power sector. The power sector has been privatized, but tariffs are still controlled by the government. As a result, there has been no increase in tariffs for a long time. Power prices remain highly subsidized, and this has placed severe strain on government finances. An unrealistic tariff structure has led to lack of investment in the power supply infrastructure by the private entities that run the network.

Source: GlobalData

With the establishment of an assembly factory and a record-high order intake of close to 600 MW in Argentina last year, Vestas is already playing a key role in helping the country’s ambitious targets for a more sustainable energy mix. Further underlining this leading position in Argentina’s growing wind energy market, Vestas has received a 106 MW order for two wind parks located nearby Bahia Blanca city in the Province of Buenos Aires.

The order is placed by Pampa Energía S.A. and includes supply and installation of 28 V136-3.45 MW turbines delivered in 3.8 MW Power Optimised Mode for Pampa and De La Bahía wind park that both have a total capacity of 53 MW. The order includes a 20-year Active Output Management (AOM 5000) service agreement.

Last year, Vestas signed contracts for almost 600 MW in Argentina and with this new order, we have close to 1 GW of wind capacity either installed or under construction in the country. Our strong order intake and the recent announcement of our assembly facility in Argentina emphasise our commitment and support to the country’s ambitious renewable energy targets”, says Andrés Gismondi, Sales Director of Vestas Argentina.

Turbine delivery is planned for the last quarter of 2018, whilst commissioning is expected for the first quarter of 2019.

Vestas and Pampa Energía S.A. have previously developed the 100 MW Corti wind park in the same region. The project is already constructed and will be inaugurated next Tuesday, 22 May.

Source: Vestas

Soltec manufactures in Argentina the main parts of its horizontal SF7 single-axis solar tracker

Soltec has obtained the Code Provider Product (CPP) accreditation as Local Manufacturer in Argentina. This code, which can be consulted in the Renewable Energy Provider Register (ReProEr), was created by Argentina’s National Industrial Technology Institute (INTI) to promote the use of renewable energy and locally manufactured goods.

Since Soltec’s establishment in Argentina, obtaining this accreditation has been a priority in the Soltec mission to help customers find success there. Local manufacturing will benefit the customer experience in supply and construction phases, and will benefit customer solidarity campaigns by measurably improving people’s lives,” says José María Celdrán, Regional General Manager for Andean Countries and the Southern Cone. “We appreciate INTI’s disposition and support throughout the whole process.

Soltec Argentina offers in-country the SF7 superior tracking solution for solar PV power plants. “Local manufacturing means that Soltec can offer shorter lead-times, and it establishes the factory-base of Soltec’s comprehensive Factory Service Plans. Argentina is serious with renewable energy objectives, and the CPP accreditation is strategic to our plans in the country for the next 12 months. It follows on our formula of global growth into the most interesting solar PV tracker markets,” said Soltec CEO Raul Morales.

Source: Soltec

Siemens continues to be on a successful course with its energy business in Argentina: the company has secured orders to supply a total of four turnkey industrial power plants to the country. Six SGT-A65 TR (former Industrial Trent 60) gas turbines will form the heart of two plants in the cities of Luján and Matheu in Buenos Aires Province in eastern Argentina. Siemens has also been awarded a contract to supply six industrial gas turbines of type SGT-800 for two power plants in Las Palmas and San Pedro in the cities of San Pedro and Zarate. Siemens’ customers are the two Canadian private equity companies Stoneway Capital and Araucaria Energy led by Roger Nores. They will operate the plants as independent power producers with the support of Siemens. The total order volume for Siemens is approximately USD 570 million. Siemens has also committed a USD 115 million loan to support the power plants’ construction.

These orders mark another major success for Siemens in Argentina,” explains José Aparicio, Vice President for the Sales Region Latin America in Siemens’ Power and Gas Division. “This is the first time we have sold a turnkey industrial power plant equipped with aeroderivative gas turbines, as well as long-term service. What’s more, these four power plants will help to alleviate the power shortages in Argentina and increase the security of power supplies“.

 

Siemens has also signed long-term service agreements for the four sites. These contracts include operation maintenance (OM) and long-term agreements for each location for a period of ten years and include operation and maintenance staff, remote monitoring, 24/7 helpdesk, overhauls, spare parts for stock and reliability guarantees. Siemens service and maintenance is centered on the company’s Digital Services for Energy portfolio, combining advanced data analytics with Siemens’ proven expertise to help customers fully realize the full potential of their power assets for improved reliability and profitability.

With an electrical generating capacity of 127 MW, the plant in Luján will be fitted with two SGT-A65 TR gas turbines and with two SGen5-100A-series electrical generators. The four model SGT-A65 TR turbines destined for the power plant in Matheu will provide a total electrical generating capacity of 254 megawatts (MW). The Las Palmas site will be equipped with four SGT-800 gas turbines with an electrical generating capacity of 202 MW. The other two SGT-800 gas turbines destined for the power plant in San Pedro will generate a total electrical output of 104 MW; commissioning for the four sites is scheduled for the end of 2017.

All the sites have the option to be retrofitted as combined cycle power plants in the near future. The SGT-A65 TR gas turbines are being manufactured as fast-track units at Siemens’ production locations in Mount Vernon, Ohio, in the United States, and in Montreal, Canada. The corresponding generators will be provided by the Siemens’ manufacturing facility in Erfurt, Germany. The SGT-800 gas turbines will be manufactured in Finspang, Sweden.

Usina Eólica de Vale dos Ventos (Brasil). Foto cortesía de GWEC / Vale dos Ventos wind farm (Brazil). Photo courtesy of GWEC

A recent study from consultancy MAKE on wind power in Latin America, forecasts a shift away from the Brazilian market during a period of political and economic turmoil that coincides with unprecedented auction activity in Mexico, Argentina and Chile. Overall, MAKE expects more than 47 GW of new wind power capacity will be commissioned in the region by 2026.

The region’s largest market, Brazil, connected more than 2.5 GW of wind power capacity in 2016, marking the third consecutive year that the market has commissioned a similar level of output. Yet the market appears to be facing an impending cliff in 2019 due to a prolonged period of economic contraction exacerbated by ongoing political turmoil. Developers signed no new wind power PPAs at auction in 2016 for the first time since the technology began competing in 2009.

 

The Brazilian wind power market awaits an annual market for new installations in 2019 of less than half the size it experienced between 2014 and 2016. The market now faces an uncertain future after the last-minute cancellation of a highly anticipated reserve power auction in December 2016. The length of the apparent market slump will depend on the recovery of demand for electricity and the government’s willingness to support the technology at future auctions.

Meanwhile in Mexico, the implementation of long-term power auctions opened a new avenue for PPAs for wind power developers in 2016. The first two auctions awarded PPAs to more than 1.4GW of wind power capacity at pricing as low as 32 US$/MWh.

Chile and Argentina also hosted historic auctions in 2016 that awarded PPAs to nearly 3.5 GW of wind power capacity. Argentina organised the first two rounds of its RenovAr renewables program in 2016 to support compliance with its aggressive 20% RES goal. Chile conducted a massive, multi-technology auction in 2016 to cover long-term demand beginning in 2021. Aggressive bid pricing in Chile and a likely financing bottleneck in Argentina will likely lead to attrition in both markets.

New policy and political developments throughout the rest of region impact the market potential of several other Latin American countries. Both Colombia and Peru are considering market rules changes that could allow wind power to compete effectively.

GRI Renewable Industries (GRI), wind industrial división of Corporación Acek, has concluded a Joint Venture agreement with Metalurgia Calviño (CALVIÑO) to initiate the manufacture of wind towers in Argentina in the second semester of 2017.

This new GRI facility will be located in the existing industrial plants in the Industrial Center of CALVIÑO in Florencio Varela, province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, allowing a 300 wind towers supply per year for the Argentinian market and creating 350 highly-skilled jobs.

 

GRI and CALVIÑO are finalizing matters related to technical, financial and legal aspects, in order to start immediately with the industrial activity.

According to Javier Imaz, CEO of GRI: “The alliance between GRI and CALVIÑO will guarantee the supply of wind towers manufactured in Argentina, with the highest international manufacturing quality standards and just-in-time delivery.

Gastón Guarino, President of CALVIÑO, added that: “This Alliance will offer the Argentinian market a solution already proven internationally in different countries. In addition, it will ensure a greater synergy between one of the World’s leading Companies, as it is GRI, with a one the local pioneer Companies in this industry.

Source: GRI Renewable Industries

Vestas has received two orders from Genneia S.A. for a total of 220 MW for phase I and II of the Puerto Madryn project. Genneia, Argentina’s largest wind energy supplier in terms of installed capacity, has placed a firm and unconditional order for a total of 62 V126-3.45 wind turbines. The turbines will be installed in wind parks located close to Puerto Madryn in Chubut, one of the windiest regions in Argentina.

Long-lasting business relationship between Vestas and Genneia started in 2010 when they signed Rawson I&II (78 MW), Argentina’s largest wind park at the time. In 2016 they signed the extension of Rawson wind park for phase III (24MW).

 

The order comprises the supply and installation of the wind turbines, as well as a 10-year Active Output Management 5000 (AOM5000) service agreement that will ensure the highest energy output at the lowest costs for Genneia S. A. Commissioning for phase I and II is expected for the third quarter of 2018 and 2019 respectively.

On ly one day later Vestas received a firm and unconditional order from the only aluminium smelter in Argentina, Aluar Aluminio Argentino S.A.I.C., to supply 14 V126-3.45 delivered in 3.6 MW Power Optimised Mode for the 50 MW El Llano wind farm in Chubut. Located close to Aluar’s facilities, the wind farm will provide electricity for Aluar’s aluminium smelting, highlighting wind energy’s attractive economics for energy intensive industries.

The order comprises the supply and installation of the wind turbines as well as a 15-year Active Output Management 5000 (AOM5000) service agreement, ensuring optimal operation of the wind farm at all times. Wind turbine delivery is planned for the fourth quarter of 2017, while commissioning is expected for the third quarter of 2018.
By using wind energy to run their energy intensive aluminium production, Aluar follows the global trend of companies procuring renewable energy to run their operations with cost-efficient and sustainable energy. The El Llano wind park will also help Aluar meet the requirement stipulated in the Argentinian Renewable Energy Law 27.191 that requires large electricity consumers to get a percentage of their usage from renewable sources.

Over the last six months, Vestas has signed around 500 MW of firm and unconditional orders in Argentina, these orders underline the key role Vestas plays in Argentina’s transition towards a sustainable energy mix.

Source: Vestas

JinkoSolar has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Argentina’s wholesale electric administration company CAMMESA, for its Iglesia-Guañizuil 80 MWac solar PV project located in the San Juan province. This project was awarded to JinkoSolar at the end of 2016 under the public renewable tender RenovAr 1.5. According to the terms of the PPAs, JinkoSolar will begin generating solar energy by late 2018. All the electricity generated will be sold to CAMMESA under the PPAs for a 20-year period.

The Argentinian government on November 25 awarded 1,281.5 MW of renewable energy capacity under round 1.5 of its renewable energy programme, RenovAR. A total of 30 projects were selected under this additional tender, including 10 wind projects, representing 765.4 MW of capacity and 20 solar PV schemes, totalling 516.2 MW. The total capacity awarded is more than double the 600 MW the government had said it was seeking. The average price achieved was USD 54 per MWh, while the lowest price was USD 46 per MWh for the Pampa wind project.

 

The project will have a very important impact in the region and will definitely further increase the development of solar power in the region, being one of the largest solar PV projects awarded in a country like Argentina with a lot of solar potential and energy needs.

The story behind JinkoSolar’s Argentina solar bid

Asier Aya, Managing Director Americas of Jinko Solar International Power Division signed the PPA with the Subsecretary of Energy of Argentina and CAMMESA, and explains FuturENERGY the key facts behind this contract.

JinkoSolar has participated in the last year in several international tenders, having been successful in Mexico with 3 projects totaling 250 MWp and in Abu Dhabi with the largest project worldwide. Winning a project in Argentina is a great addition to its portfolio of awarded projects in a region with a lot of potential. “Now we will keep on working on the project finance and we plan to break ground before the end of the year,” adds Asier Aya.

RenovAr 1 and 1.5 was the first renewable tender with international players and international financing available. Not all the international renewable energy companies were on time to bid, but JinkoSolar made it and were successful. It was a big effort that ended with a nice reward. Argentina is really betting in renewable energy and the government is planning to organize soon the second round, RenovAr 2. “We will be keeping a close eye on Argentina’s macro situation and available financing,” adds Aya

JinkoSolar finances its energy projects, although the way varies between markets. In Mexico and Abu Dhabi are commercial banks that provide project finance, but “In Argentina, the name of the game you can really say is financing. You have local banks, but they give rather short tenors and not pure project finance, thus the sponsor needs to take refinancing risk to be competitive and assume some extra corporate guarantees. Just a few international development banks (multilaterals) are providing project debt in Argentina,” comments Asier Aya.

The main variable that Argentina needs to solve in order to be successful in its ambitious renewable energy goals if they want international and reliable investors coming in, is being able to attract more international financing,” he adds.

The new government of Argentina has made a great effort to put together in a record time the tender and in a moment in time where neighboring countries are more mature as Chile and Brazil. “Argentina has a lot of potential, but they need to keep improving at a macro level mainly in order to attract more foreign investment. The country is not investment grade yet, but it is climbing notch by notch in order to be there.

Talking about the potential for solar energy in emerging markets, Asier Aya tells us: “Quite a number of emerging markets such as Latin America have a great solar resource and their energy demand keeps on growing. Solar energy prices are now below conventional energy prices in many countries. In this situation, governments, in collaboration with private sector and financial institutions, need to stablish a reliable regulatory framework to develop its rapidly evolving solar energy market. So the potential is enormous now, and even more in a few years when cost-efficient storage solutions arrive.

Investing overseas offers many potential benefits, but it also comes with risks, for JinkoSolar overcoming this risks is a central task, that the company tackles with a very experiences international team covering several regions to handle and mitigate these risks. JinkoSolar spends a great amount of time analyzing opportunities and the risks that come with those opportunities. “We are focused in markets were projects have a stable currency, a reliable legal framework and where financial institutions are willing to come with us.“, ends Aya.

Argentina is on track to become Latin America’s most attractive renewable energy market, as the country sets its sights on 20% renewables by 2025 – according to a recent report, launched by BNamericas. The report, “Get in while you can: The time for Argentine renewables is now”, details how other markets in the region are currently less viable for investors.

The report outlines that a combination of market-friendly reforms carried out by the nation’s current government and falling renewable energy prices are contributing to the Argentina’s attractiveness for clean energy investors.

 

Argentina has declared 2017 as the ‘Renewable Energy Year’ and is looking to increase awareness about the advantages of renewable energy and the important of sustainability.

The country has committed to increase the share of renewables in the nation’s power mix to 20% by 2025, with another target set at 8% by the end of 2017. To achieve these targets, a series of renewable energy auctions are expected to take place over the next few years. The government is expected to auction 10 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2025.

In October 2016, the government issued 1.1 GW of renewable energy projects through a competitive auction – including 400 MW of solar power capacity. The auction – which also included wind energy, bioenergy, and small hydro power projects – attracted bids for 6,366 MW of capacity. A further 516 MW of solar PV capacity was allocated in an auction a month later.

Latin America as a whole has seen significant investment in renewable energy in recent years, most notably in hydropower but the tide is now turning in favour of other renewable sources including wind and solar – according to IRENA’s report, “Renewable Energy Market Analysis: Latin America”, issued recently.

Source: Climate Action

According to GTM Research’s Latin America PV Playbook, Mexico now has the largest contracted PV project pipeline in all of Latin America. Latin America is expected to significantly increase its share of PV demand. The region as a whole is expected to take over 6% of global PV demand in 2017 on the basis of strong growth in several major markets such as Mexico and Chile. Several key markets on the rise include Argentina and Colombia, with regional giant, Brazil, capable of becoming a force once again through economic recovery.

Utility-scale solar leads all other segments of PV in across the region where solar is beating out prices for other technologies in auctions, and capturing much more of the market share for non-conventional renewables. In the second half of 2016, solar prices reached a low for not only Latin America, but briefly globally at $29/MWh during Chile’s August national supply auction. Distributed generation is on the rise, in some markets such as Mexico and Brazil, where net metering and other incentives are in place.

 

Investment in the sector is spurred through the introduction of tax reforms, partnerships with development banks and funds for renewable-specific projects. Due to low PV prices, however, financing for low rate of return projects is one of the most challenging endeavors for developers. Still, economic recovery and corresponding growth in power demand helps sustain regional renewable energy investment in 2017.

Causes for concern in several markets include currency depreciation (Mexico and Brazil) to ever-present political changes. Latin America electricity consumption per capita is still relatively low when compared with OECD countries. The IMF revised growth projections for Latin America and the Caribbean downwards to 1.2% in 2017, with weaker than expected GDP gains in the major markets of Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Argentina.

Argentina and Colombia are poised to cut into the Big Three’s share of LatAm PV demand

Argentina’s auction clears the way for almost 1 GW of PV to contract through the RenovAR program – a vehicle which establishes targets and ways for clean energy to flourish in the country out through 2025 – when the country has an 20% target for renewables generation. RenovAR Ronda (Round) 2 will be unveiled as soon as March to start the process for more projects to be added on beyond 2018.

Colombia is somewhat following the footsteps of several of its LatAm neighbors. Because Colombia only operates under private utilities, many PV projects are for self consumption only without proper incentives such as net metering. As of the most recent energy expansion roadmap, only 150 MW of solar was targeted by 2035, but that number should be surpassed by 2018 alone.

Mexico will spend 2017 getting started on the massive 4.2 GW pipeline issued in 2016. Projects are being signed, sited, and seeking financing but the continuing decline of the Peso is hurting confidence in whether project returns will be high.

Chile continues to be the leader of cumulative PV installed in Latin America. Chile will experience a down year in 2017. Projects wait to connect to an already congested grid, but Chile adds a few more > 50 MW projects to the grid.

Brazil may be largest economy in Latin America, but a recession and excess electricity supply clouds PV’s future development past already contracted projects.

2016 was the year of utility-scale auction surprises:

Both Mexico and Argentina’s auctions surprised and exceeded expectations in 2016, signaling the first stage for promising build out.

In Mexico’s case, there was doubt whether the proposed energy transition would pan out to the benefit of solar – especially for the utility scale. Before the first energy auction in March, there were many differing views as to whether PV would be able to compete with other energy sources like wind and natural gas. These reservations proved to be overblown as PV emerged as the overwhelming winner in both utility auctions totaling 4.2GW of capacity at prices as low as $33/MWh.

Argentina was an absolute wildcard factoring into the overall dynamics of regional PV. President Macri showed signs of reviving an aging and uncompetitive sector when he was elected in late 2015, but the swiftness of the changes to the sector were unexpected. In total, through 2 rounds of auctions, Argentina added close to 1 GW of utility scale PV. It was, however, the introduction to financing and renewable energy targets in 2016 which set solar up for success in the long term.

The largest economy in the region, Brazil, fell victim to several macroeconomic factors from political instability to drought. These factors decreased the overall electricity demand year over year by 0.7%, and was the main driver for the cancellation for both planned 2016 auctions for which solar was to be a part of. Almost 700 MW of tendered projects from 2014 remain in flux after a potential cancellation plan was scrapped.

2017 regional trends

Brazil was unableto catch a break in almost every facet of the market in 2016. Expect 2017 to be a rebound year for PV as the economy grows incrementally. It is also expected that ANEEL has factored in the regular ebb and flow of hydro capacity when planning future supply auctions. Expect especially the C&I segments add another 50-80MW.

The most recent CNE supply auction in Chile, actually turned out to be a gain for PV. Developers shrewdly worked around the block bidding structure to secure generation in the 24 hour slots using other technologies as a front for a portion of the project to be solar. Look for SIC-SING interconnection to spill progress into early to mid 2018.

Recent auctions in México marked the expiration of permits from the old scheme. Auctioned projects are now in the financing stage, one that will not an easy hurdle to clear given the low rates of return calculated on some projects. Installers have capitalized on the DAC tariff clients, but rates in O-M and H-M industrial classes are increasing too. Look for most of the 2017 DG installations to take place in this class.

Thawing of international relations has provided a spike in the interest of developing renewables in Cuba. The completion of a 50 MW utility plant and 100 MW auction will lead to more interest pouring into the country given its demand needs. Colombia can be pegged as the new Argentina, with a more stabilized government and need for cleaner and cheaper energy sources. Colombia, however, faces policy and incentive limitations.

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