Chile power auction delay will help renewables firms


Carlos Finat explains how transmission undertainty has held back renewables. Credit: ACERA

Chile’s energy regulator CNE has delayed its power auction to 25 July this year, in a move that should benefit renewable energy companies looking for certainty over transmission rules.

The delay will ensure that a law on transmission, which is currently being discussed at the Chilean Congress, will be approved before the bidding from the participating power companies, said Carlos Finat, executive director of the Chilean Renewable Energy Association (ACERA).

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

In February, Finat had explained that the main regulatory issue in Chile today regards a “total update” of regulation around the transmission system. Its current transport capacity and lack of development stands as a major barrier for the progress of renewable energy in the South American country.

At present, investments in transmission are being delayed due to specific regulations for expanding the system, said Finat. It takes around three years just to plan expansions and a further five to six years to build any lines. The new law being considered will allow for a more considered analysis of requirements of the power generation systems so that infrastructure can be built in advance of rising demand. It will also help to incorporate best practices from abroad.

Chile has four main separate networks, which means that the high penetration of utility-scale solar in the desert regions of the north cannot be used to benefit the most populated central regions around Santiago until the northern and central grids are interlinked. As a result major project is underway to connect the Northern Interconnected System (SING) grid with the Central Interconnected System (SIC) grid. This is due for completion in mid-2017.

The new transmission law was entered into the Congress in October 2015 and Chilean authorities had expected it to be approved by this month, however the power auction is being held back to account for a delay.

Finat said: “This delay is in line with requests from different companies and organizations, including ACERA.

“Having the transmission law approved will bring a larger degree of certainty to the potential risks that generators see coming from a transmission system that so far has been underdeveloped and thus has become a barrier to competition and a source of volatility of marginal costs.”

Earlier this year, Chile surpassed the 1GW solar deployment milestone.

Read Next

Subscribe to Newsletter

Most Read

Upcoming Events

PV Tech Premium - Enjoy 50% off in our Black Friday Sale

Enjoy 50% off in our Early Black Friday Sale

A world of insights awaits

Ends Friday, 1st Dec 2023