Colombian utility EPM begins commercial operations at 83MW solar PV plant

Colombian public utility Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) powers 83MW Tepuy solar PV plant in Caldas, Colombia.
EPM’s Tepuy solar PV plant required the installation of nearly 200,000 bifacial solar panels. Image: Colombia’s Ministry of Mining and Energy.

Colombian public utility Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) has reached commercial operation at a 83MW solar PV plant.

Located in the central department of Caldas, nearly 200,000 bifacial solar panels with a power output of 540-545Wp were installed at the Tepuy solar PV plant.

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According to the utility, the construction of the project required an investment of COP397 billion (US$96 million) and marks the company’s first utility-scale solar project in the country.

According to Colombia’s director of energy, María Victoria Ramírez Martínez, the country aims to add 6GW of renewable energy during Gustavo Petro’s presidency, which runs from 2022 until 2026.

Recently the government held a renewables auction that awarded 4.4GW of solar PV capacity, and solar PV represented nearly all capacity auctioned in February 2024. The 30 projects awarded are expected to be operational between 1 December 2027 and the end of November 2028.

The falling levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) for solar PV in Latin America created opportunities for solar developers across several markets in Central America and Colombia, as covered earlier this year on PV Tech Premium. Among the Central American markets where interest in solar has risen is Guatemala, which has embraced both government tenders and private investment, and this approach could help create a market similar to Colombia.

Solar PV activity in Colombia continues to increase, especially at utility-scale level, which saw its first PV project over 20MW being powered earlier this year. Spanish renewables developer Enerfín reached commercial operations of its 128MWp plant in the country in March, and similar to the Tepuy solar project, Enerfín’s 128MWp project is located in the central department of Caldas.

Moreover, international solar developer Atlas Renewable Energy acquired a 201MW PV plant in Colombia from local solar company Rayo Energía. The project is expected to reach commercial operation by the end of 2025 and has already secured a power purchase agreement with an unnamed “leading Colombian company”. Atlas aims to reach 1GW of contracted solar PV projects in Colombia.

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