As per news reports, Colombian Ministro de Minas e Energia (MME) plans to push back the country’s first power storage auction until 2021. As per the preliminary documents, the ministry published a call for seeking a supervisor and investor to design, build, operate and maintain a 50 MW facility in the Caribbean coastal Department of Atlántico.

In June 2020, a selection process for the grid-connected battery system was announced for a launch later this year, following a public consultation. The initiative forms part of a broader plan to develop several strategic storage hubs in the country to reinforce electricity supply in areas vulnerable to outages. It is understood the Atlántico project will boast 50 MW of capacity. The length of the service agreement for the facility’s operation is expected to be 10 to 15 years.

Meanwhile, MME has stated that 14 wind and solar plants that were assigned contracts at an auction in October 2019 remain on track to begin operating in 2022. The projects will amass 2.5 GW of installed capacity, raising the share of non-conventional renewables in Colombia’s energy mix from 1 per cent today to 12 per cent, according to the government.

Developers are also working on 16 transmission projects, many of which will connect wind and solar farms to the national grid. Plans are underway to publish a roadmap for the incorporation of geothermal energy and hydrogen into the country’s power generation matrix.

REGlobal’s Views: Throughout Latin America, countries are rapidly transitioning from fuel oil and hydroelectricity as the main power sources to a more diverse energy mix, including natural gas, solar and wind. Energy storage is, therefore, becoming a key requirement if they are to plan effectively for grid integration of these new sources of energy.