• ANLA of Colombia has awarded the South American country’s first environmental license for a solar power plant to the 100 MW Cesar Photovoltaic complex in Cesar department
  • This capacity will be developed in the form of 5 solar power plants in the village of Azúcar Buena-La Mesa, Valledupar, department of Cesar
  • A total of around 284,310 solar modules will be used on 105.62 hectares of land out of a total allotted space of 156.61 hectares for the solar complex

A 100 MW proposed solar power project in the village of Azúcar Buena-La Mesa, Valledupar, department of Cesar in Colombia has earned the distinction of becoming the first project to secure the country’s first environmental license for a solar power plant. The National Authority of Environmental Licenses (ANLA) has given environmental clearance for 5 solar power plants with cumulative capacity of 100 MW.

“The Cesar photovoltaic project, located in the village of Azúcar Buena-La Mesa in the municipality of Valledupar, is the largest in the country and although there are others underway, this is the one that marks the route of large-scale undertakings in this area,” said ANLA.

The clearance was accorded after consultation with the 4 Indigenous Peoples of the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta namely Arhuaco, Kankuamo, Kogoi and Wiwa whose concerns were addressed in the Plan of Environmental Management (PMA).

The Cesar Photovoltaic solar complex will be spread across 156.61 hectares with some 284,310 solar modules occupying 105.62 hectares. Together, the solar complex is expected to generate 41,667 MWh of clean energy annually for the next 30 years post commissioning. ANLA hasn’t identified the project developer of the 100 MW project.

In December 2018, Alpha Wind Generation project in La Guajira with generation capacity of 200 MW and 250 MW became the first wind power plant in the country to win environmental licence from ANLA.

According to the agency, this initiative is part of the current government’s policy of promoting the use of ‘clean’ energies under the principles of sustainable development, in which the Presidency of the Republic and the Ministries of Environment and Sustainable Development and of Mines and Energy actively participate, among other entities.

After Colombia scrapped its first renewable energy auction in February 2019 citing antitrust rules, this news should give hope to stakeholders interested in the region about the country’s intentions to support development of alternative sources of energy (see No Winners In Colombia RE Auction).

In early March 2019, the government awarded close to 1.4 GW renewable energy capacity in the Reliability Charge Auction with solar winning 238 MW and wind laying its hands on 1.16 GW (see 1.39 GW Wind/Solar Awarded In Colombian Auction). The 2 solar projects that won in this auction are located in Cesar department.