Tags Posts tagged with "Colombia"


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The multinational Nclave will supply its single axis solar tracker mono-row SP160 in two different PV projects of 110 and 103 MW of power respectively in Chile, as well as another project of 100 MW in United States. In addition, there is a fourth project of 27 MW located on the other side of the Atlantic, in one of the areas with more solar radiation in Colombia, whose sponsor is Trina Solar Energy Spain. These PV projects make Nclave keep the lead in the Chilean market and embark on large projects in United States and Colombia, markets in which Nclave will strengthen its position over the next few years.

Nclave has the widest range of products in the market; fixed structures, single axis tracker mono-row SP160 and multi-row SP1000 and twin tracker SP240, – the latest design to be incorporated, which has recently received the UL3703 certification, granted by the UL LLC, besides the one already obtained for the mono-row and multi-row models and UL2703 certification for fixed tilt structures. Nclave also has the CE marking, renewed last June due to the integration of the EN 1090 standard for structural component requirements, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, IEC 62817, ISO 14064 and TÜV-NORD certifications (structural security of fixed structures) and DNV-GL (bancability).

Nclave will end 2019 with over 4.5 GW supplied worldwide. With more than 15 years of experience and offices and production centers on five continents, Nclave, is a leading company in the development, design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of fixed tilt structures and solar trackers, including the design and execution of any foundation solution. Nclave offers solutions with the lowest installation costs on the one hand, and, during the life of the project, operation and maintenance

Source: Nclave

Soltec, manufacturer and supplier of single-axis solar trackers and related services in large ground-mount PV projects, is supplying 2,776 units of its SF7 tracker equipment at an 86.2 MW PV power plant in northern Colombia’s Cesar department.

The SF7 trackers will mount around 250,000 PV modules to follow the sun and optimize their yield performance. The plant will generate an average of 176 GWh of clean energy per year, becoming the largest solar power plant in Colombia. The PV plant is currently under construction and will be operational by the end of 2018.

Currently, Colombia’s energy generation depends enormously on hydroelectric power plants, which in drought season can be a real problem. This can be easily solved by complementing with solar energy that will also contribute to reducing electricity price,” says Raúl Morales, CEO of Soltec.

With this project, Soltec continues strengthening its position in the Latin American tracker market, summing to more than 2 GW of solar trackers supplied in the region. “Soltec is on-track with global and regional expansion plans, and our results in Latin America are especially gratifying,” adds Morales.

The Cesar PV power plant will count on wireless communications and a patented self-powering tracker solution. “This self-powering solution enables complete tracker module-fill and supplies the lowest cost operational power available onsite and independently at each tracker,” informs Soltec’s R&D Manager José Alfonso Teruel.

Source: Soltec

IDB Invest signed a $1 billion senior, unsecured A/B loan package to Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) to build a 2,400 MW hydropower facility in the northern region of Antioquia, Colombia. Ituango will be the largest hydropower project in the country.

The Ituango hydropower plant will represent approximately 18 percent of the country’s total installed power capacity, and will generate approximately 13,900 GWh of renewable electricity per year.

The financing package comprises a $300 million A loan from the IDB Group, as well a $50 million co-loan from the IDB Invest-administered China Co-Financing Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean, and a $650 million B loan from international commercial banks and institutional investors (CDPQ, KFW IPEX, BNP Paribas, ICBC, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, BBVA and Banco Santander). The financing offers a tenor of 12 years for the A loan, and a 12-year and an 8-year tranche for the B loan.

The transaction highlights the expansion of renewable energy in emerging markets and underscores IDB Invest’s commitment to mitigating climate change.

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.

IBC SOLAR AG together with its local Premium Partner Colombinvest has planned, designed, and installed an 18.5 kWp self-consumption PV system on the roof of the administrative building belonging to the energy supplier Grupo de Energia. The new PV system is thought to be one of the highest PV power systems in Colombia.

The solar power system is located high above the roofs of Colombia’s capital, Bogotá. The pilot system was installed on top of the administrative building of Grupo de Energía de Bogotá, which is the main shareholder of the largest energy supplier in the Bogotá region. If the pilot is successful, PV technology generating energy for self-consumption could be installed at further administrative centres across Colombia, Guatemala, and Peru.

The main challenge posed by this project was installing enough solar modules on the building’s limited available surface to generate at least 10 per cent of its annual energy needs, currently around 264,000 kWh per year. To this end, 56 high-performance modules and 2 three-phase transformerless inverters from European manufacturers have been installed. These will generate 24,500 kWh per year, thus enabling the project to meet the investor’s target. Since being commissioned in March 2015 by IBC SOLAR and Colombinvest, the system has generated 11,690 kWh of solar power, with daily peaks of 20 kVA solar generation.

In Colombia, PV technology is considered a good alternative source of energy as it is helping to reduce the country’s dependency on fossil fuels, which currently account for 1/3 of the power generation in the country. Furthermore, solar energy is an important supplement to traditionally-used hydropower, especially during such periods of draught as those currently being experienced in the region.

IBC SOLAR is internationally established, with subsidiaries and Premium Partners in more than 30 international markets inside and outside Europe. In the 30 years since it was founded, premium partnerships have proven useful for IBC SOLAR in many respects. The Premium Partners are well established in their respective markets and are familiar with cultural practices, conventions, and legal requirements. This means they are able to offer solutions that precisely meet the specific needs of their customers. In return, IBC SOLAR not only guarantees a reliable supply of high-quality products and unique services, but access to the know-how and experience of one of the PV industry’s leading pioneers.

In relation to the title of this article, I have been reflecting on the current and specific situation of Colombia and have to admit that unfortunately I have find that everything quite the contrary. In other words, there is an irrational use of energy in general and a lack of knowledge regarding how to achieve high performance and environmentally-friendly HVAC systems.

Analysing international standards for achieve this end, we have the ASHRAE 90 standard (the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air- Conditioning Engineers) that offers all the specifications required for systems to comply with a minimum level of energy efficiency. There is also the Spanish RITE, the Regulation on Thermal Installations in Buildings that has provided the basis for a draft ruling. However the Colombian version of the RITE, that was not passed, focuses on trivialities that have nothing to do with its fundamental principle that is energy efficiency and air quality inside buildings. Interesting efforts have also been made as regards ISO 50001 that includes efficient measures for industrial installations. However as none of these standards are regulatory, codified or legally binding, they are cited but not complied with.

We also have the certification of buildings, such as LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design), the SAC (Colombian Environmental Seal, currently undergoing approval) and the CEE (the Spanish Energy Certification of Buildings), the latter based on the RITE approved by Royal Decree 1027/2007 along with the Royal Decree 235/2013 for the CEE. Read more…

Camilo Botero
President, Western Division (Colombian Association of Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration) Secretary of FAIAR (Ibero-American Federation of Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Associations

Article published in: FuturENERGY June 2015