Argentina oversubscribed auction awards 500MW of solar PV

Argentina’s latest renewables auction ended up being oversubscribed with more than 2GW of submitted capacity. Image: Angelica Reyes via Unsplash.

Argentina’s latest renewables auction awarded more than 630MW of capacity out of 620MW initially intended, of which 501.1MW from solar PV.

The energy ministry through the renewables auction – dubbed “RenMDI” – launched at the end of January 2023 has awarded 44 solar projects, out of a total of 98 renewable projects, with capacity ranging between 3MW to 20MW.

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Three of the solar projects will be co-located with energy storage, two in the province of Buenos Aires with a total capacity of 36.5MW and the other one in the western province of La Pampa with 15MW of capacity. However, no breakdown was given between both capacities.

Solar PV projects were awarded in the first package of the auction with projects spread across six regions, including the provinces of Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Mendoza and La Rioja.

Prices for the awarded solar PV projects oscillated between US$52/MWh in the province of Catamarca – near the border with Chile to the highest bid of US$99/MWh in Corrientes, northeast of Argentina.

In total 204 applications were submitted to the ministry of energy with only 192 going through the auction stage, for a combined capacity of more than 2GW.

Projects will have three years to be completed and will enter into a power purchase agreement with Argentina’s power market administrator CAMMESA.

Unlike neighbouring countries such as Chile and Brazil, Argentina has yet to show significant continued growth in its renewables capacity and has so far installed 1.1GW of solar capacity as of the end of 2022, according to data from energy think tank Ember. Earlier this year, state-owned utility YPF Luz powered the first phase of a 300MW solar PV project in the western province of San Juan, with the commissioning of 100MW capacity.

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