Large-scale solar developer, SolarReserve, has signed a supply contract to sell power from a 20MW plant it is building in El Salvador.

El Salvador energy distributor, Distribuidora de Electricidad  del Sur (DELSUR), will buy the power from SolarReserve’s 20MW ‘Acajutla’ solar power project – the first large-scale solar power project in the Central American country.

SolarReserve has a pipeline of 800MW of Latin American solar projects, including hybrid and concentrated solar power (CSP) projects.

Latin America “represents a great opportunity for solar power development", said Kevin Smith, SolarReserve's CEO. "With the region's excellent solar resource and escalating and uncertain prices of fossil fuels, solar power makes more than just environmental sense – it makes economic sense.”

The Acajulta 20-year power purchase agreement is to begin in 2016, and is one of four solar power projects totalling 94MW selected by El Salvador distribution companies as part of a renewables auction held in June.

The auction was managed by electricity regulatory body Superintendencia General de Electricidad y Telecomunicaciones (SIGET).

The competitive auction had 30 solar projects and two wind developments submitted, with a price cap of US$165.53 per kWh set for solar, and of US$123.41 per kWh for wind.

French developer, Unión de Personas (UDP) Neoen-Almaval won a tender for a 60MW solar power project, bidding US$101.90 per kWh, and UDP Proyecto La Trinidad won tenders for an 8MW solar development and a 6MW development, at US$123.41 per kWh, according to local news reports.

Local news also reports a further 100MW renewables-only auction is to be held in El Salvador. The auction is to be held by SIGET and the National Energy Board (CEN), although a date for the auction has not yet been specified.

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