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Ecopetrol inks deal for Colombia's biggest solar park

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, November 22, 2018
Ecopetrol inks deal for Colombia's biggest solar park

AES Chivor, a subsidiary of Chilean group AES Gener, has been awarded a contract to build a 20.4MW solar park for Colombian state oil company Ecopetrol.

The project in central Meta department marks Ecopetrol's first utility-scale solar initiative. It will power the company's operations at the Castilla field, Colombia's second largest oil-producing area, via 60,000 photovoltaic panels covering 18ha, the Bogotá-based company said in a release on Wednesday.

Electricity generation at the park is expected to begin in the second half of next year. It will be Colombia's largest solar generation facility, surpassing the 10MW Yumbo plant in Valle del Cauca department which went into service last year.

"This milestone marks an important step in Ecopetrol's foray into solar energy projects and is aligned with the company's goal of having a more diversified and cleaner energy matrix," CEO Felipe Bayón said.

Ecopetrol said AES Chivor was selected following a "competitive and transparent" process. It added that the developer has "extensive experience" building renewable energy projects in Chile, Colombia and Argentina. Financial details of the project were not given.

The plant will increase Ecopetrol's installed capacity in Meta to around 63MW. The company already generates electricity in the department from sugarcane bagasse through subsidiary Bioenergy.

Ecopetrol, which produces more than 60% of Colombia's oil and gas, said it has over 181MW in its renewable power project pipeline.

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