Amid transmission restrictions, Argentina priority dispatch auction goes to tiebreak

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, January 12, 2023

Nine renewable energy projects in an Argentine transmission priority dispatch auction – with combined installed capacity of 402MW – will compete in a tiebreak round.

Twelve projects entered the round, corresponding to 4Q22. One, a 100MW La Rioja province solar farm planned by Intermepro Gen I, was deemed unassignable, according to information from wholesale power market administrator Cammesa.

Two Chaco province solar projects are assignable without going to a tiebreak: Energías Renovables Las Lomas' 130MW Pampa del Infierno, seeking 25MW of priority dispatch, and Agro Industrias Baires' 100MW Villa Angela, seeking 30MW of priority dispatch.   

Argentina needs to build out transmission capacity to help support continued renewables growth. Some transmission corridors are heavily congested, limiting the addition of new grid-connected renewables plants.  

Transmission priority dispatch is assigned to projects looking to participate in the Mater term market, where generators supply power under contracts with large users. Corporations with an eye on their green credentials and keen on securing supply at a favorable price are driving demand for electricity from renewable sources. For example, the 25MW Mendoza province solar project Aconcagua is planned by local hydrocarbons firm Petrolera Aconcagua Energía, which has cited a drive to obtain at least 20% of its electricity from renewables, in that way complying with legislation.   

Capacity is scheduled to be awarded by January 27. Some of the projects have participated in previous auctions. 

Officials are planning to award wholesale power market renewables projects near centers of consumption to ease the burden on the transmission system and substitute diesel-fired generation. An associated auction, originally due for 2022, is pending.

In related news, power sector regulator Enre has authorized a 150% increase in the rates that transmission companies receive, local media outlet EconoJournal reported. Sector firms have previously said that investment levels have plunged in recent years, citing price freezes and soaring inflation. 

Electricity rates paid by some end-users are climbing in Argentina as the government works to trim a hefty power sector subsidy bill. Electric power end-user subsidies are funneled through Cammesa. The cash-strapped government’s associated subsidy bill for January-October was 931bn pesos (US$5.14bn), up 70.9% year-on-year, according to data in a report by energy think tank General Mosconi Institute.

Based on data presented during a public consultation in 2022, transmission charges constitute around 1.6% of a typical end-user electricity bill, with distributor rates, generation costs and taxes constituting the balance.  


Project: San Luis Norte (wind)
Applicant: Generación Eléctrica Argentina Renovable I
Project capacity: 202MW
Maximum capacity sought: 35MW
Province: San Luis
 Transmission corridor: Centro

Project: Capiz I (solar)
Applicant: Trancurá Energía
Project capacity: 20MW
Maximum capacity sought: 20MW
Province: Mendoza
Transmission corridor: Cuyo

Project: ER de la Esperanza (solar)
Applicant: Energías Renovables de la Esperanza
Project capacity: 7.5MW
Maximum capacity sought: 7.5MW
Province: San Luis
Transmission corridor: Centro

Project: ER Los Nogales (solar)
Applicant: Energías Renovables Los Nogales
Project capacity: 9.5MW
Maximum capacity sought: 9.5MW
Province: San Luis
Transmission corridor: Centro

Project: Aconcagua (solar)
Applicant: Aconcagua E.R.
Project capacity: 25MW
Maximum capacity sought: 5MW
Province: Mendoza
Transmission corridor: Cuyo

Project: General Levalle I (wind)
Applicant: Levalle Eólico I
Project capacity: 64.5MW
Maximum capacity sought: 17MW
Province: Córdoba
Transmission corridor: Centro

Project: El Carrizal (solar)
Applicant: Surland Cuyana
Project capacity: 39.6MW
Maximum capacity sought: 25.0MW
Province: Mendoza
Transmission corridor: Cuyo

Project: Pocito (solar)
Applicant: Thinkable Energy
Project capacity: 5.03MW
Maximum capacity sought: 5MW
Province: San Juan
Transmission corridor: Cuyo

Project: Villa Angela (solar)
Applicant: Agro Industrias Baires
Project capacity: 100MW
Maximum capacity sought: 30MW
Province: Chaco
Transmission corridor: NEA

Project: Pampa del Infierno (solar)
Applicant: Energías Renovables Las Lomas
Project capacity: 130MW
Maximum capacity sought: 25MW
Province: Chaco
Transmission corridor: NEA

Project: Las Catitas Hive Mza (solar)
Applicant: Las Catitas Hive Mendoza
Project capacity: 30MW
Maximum capacity sought: 30MW
Province: Mendoza
Transmission corridor: Cuyo

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