Round 2: According to Doña, Solar Will Be Below 50 Dollars Per MWh


The Ministry of Energy and mining will be announcing which of the 228 renewable-energy bids presented in Round 2.0 of RenovAr are approved from a technical standpoint this upcoming 20th of November.

The “B” envelopes will then be opened three days later on the 23rd of November. These envelopes will contain the prices presented for each of the projects, a critical step towards determining the winners.

Victor Doña, president of EPSE and consulted by Strategic Energy, gives his opinion over the future of solar energy pricing. EPSE has presented 5,290 MW and is auctioning off 450 MW. According to Doña, “There is much talk about prices, within the range of 41/42 dollars to 47/48 dollars per MWh.”

The energy-company president points out—“If we land on the highest figure (47/48 dollars per MWh), we are already managing to keep prices 15% lower than what was taken after Round 1.5, where the average awarded price was at 57.04 dollars per MWh.”

Of the large quantity of solar presented nationally, San Juan represents a third. According to CAMMESA, 27 of the tenders come from San Juan for a total of 1,633 MW. Furthermore, Doña points out that there was a computing error that credited a project to another province, so really the numbers come to 28 tenders for a total of 1,706.45 MW.

Whatever way you look at it, it is a heavy offering: A third of the power offered by a single province that competes for only 200 MW in its zone (Cuyo) along with Mendoza and San Luis. The Cuyo region will present 2,153 MW in total.

“The number of tenders coming through San Juan has outdone our expectations,” remarked the president of EPSE with admiration.

Doña continues, “It shocks us in that—through the company, 13 PV projects were presented for a total of 505 MW alongside companies in the private sector. But beyond those associations, 15 solar projects were presented for a total of 1,200 MW, surprising provincial authorities.

The format that EPSE presents to the private sector is attractive. The state-owned company offers “a service package”—in Doña’s words—that includes national and provincial gesturing, such as electrical research, grid-connecting research, and the concession of fiscal territories.

When asked about the quality of the investors that are presenting in Round 2.0 on the national level, the president of EPSE says he observes a learning curve defined by refinement amongst the participants, as many had passed through round 1.0 more or less as spectators—but in Round 2.0 there will be less participants who are willing to set their prices low with the intention of selling their projects.

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EPSE has also presented a wind-based projects alongside Isla Power. The project is slated for the Tocota region and for 72.6 MW.

“Both solar and wind do really well in that region,” highlighted Doña. He also pointed out that the province expropriated 12,000 hectares that were ceded to EPSE for this type of mixed-project development.

Furthermore, San Juan has also offered two small hydroprojects: Salto de la Loma at 0.70 MW and Ciudad for 0.50 MW.

Guido Gubinelli