Argentina power watch: Utility-scale project, grid access, solar contracts

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, October 06, 2022

Argentina’s federal energy department chief, Flavia Royón, authorized the signing of a power-purchase agreement with Chinese developers, opening the door for construction of a 200MW expansion of solar farm Cauchari, local media outlet EconoJournal reported.

The 300MW Jujuy province plant belongs to company Cauchari Solar, jointly owned by state power firm and operator Jemse and its Chinese partners Power Construction Corporation of China and Suzhou Talesun Solar Technologies

Plans for an associated 30MW battery unit – which would have been the first of its kind in the country – were scrapped because of an increase in costs since the project was first mulled, EconJournal said.

The Cauchari Solar project is among various that have sought power-purchase agreements with the state. The others are the following, according to a federal energy department document published by wholesale power market administrator Cammesa:

– The 100MW Picún Leufú wind project, planned for Neuquén province (ADI-NQN)
– The 100MW Arauco II wind project (stages 5 and 6) and 50.1MW solar park Arauco I, proposed for La Rioja province (Parque Eólico Arauco)
– The 99.4MW Arauco II wind project (stages 3 and 4) (Arauco Renovables)

The document, dated August 26, established a three-month window for signing.


The federal energy department granted wholesale power market access to 40MW solar project Las Lomas, planned for La Rioja province.

Developer Energías Renovables Las Lomas seeks to connect the project via the Catinzaco transformer station, in the coverage area of distributor Empresa Distribuidora de Electricidad de La Rioja.

The company had sought to secure priority dispatch for Las Lomas in a capacity auction earlier this year – but was not awarded any. 

A new process, corresponding to 3Q22, is underway and firms submitted their bids by the end of last week. An award announcement is due by the end of the month.

Transmission priority dispatch is assigned to projects looking to participate in the Mater term market, where generators supply power directly to large users. Corporates with an eye on their green credentials are driving demand for electricity from clean sources.


The department also authorized biofuel company Diaser to connect its 10MW Cumbre 3 solar plant, in San Luis province, to the grid. The project is built and in the testing phase, the company told BNamericas.


The federal energy department awarded contracts for the provision of 2,633 solar units that will power electric cattle fences.

The projects fall under the federal government's Permer program for renewable energy in rural areas, which has financing support via a US$200mn loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).

In a resolution, the department awarded all three lots to company Fábrica de Implementos Agrícolas Sociedad Anónima, Comercial, Industrial y Financiera, for US$896,986, US$879,949 and US$869,110, respectively.

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