Brazil , Ecuador , Mexico , Dominican Republic and Colombia

LatAm, Caribbean power developers talk expansion, storage

Bnamericas Published: Friday, September 09, 2022
LatAm, Caribbean power developers talk expansion, storage

Higher electricity prices in the Caribbean make this market a candidate for energy storage, according to Fernando Zúñiga, Latin America and Caribbean managing director for MPC Energy Solutions.

“In the Caribbean we see that this [energy storage] is a little more accessible given that the reference rate in the Caribbean is much higher so there's an additional incentive to implement these projects, but in large markets like Mexico or Brazil it becomes a little more complicated unless there's a specific incentive,” the executive said at the Latam Future Energy event.

Zúñiga added that although MPC is focused on distributed generation in the Caribbean and Central America, the company is looking at Colombia and Mexico and that, in the case of the latter, it is “waiting for the current situation to stabilize.”

“Mexico is coming from a complicated period, a period in which many things have happened, and not all of them good, but it's a market that's growing,” Pablo Otin, CEO of solar developer Powertis told participants.

Otin said that although Brazil is Powertis’ principal market, it has begun to set foot in Colombia and possibly Mexico, two new markets where battery storage is on the company’s radar, although he added that, in Brazil, “the numbers don’t support it.”

When asked about the change in government in Colombia, Otin said, “I believe that the previous administration … did a good job … and I believe that the best thing a politician can do for their people is to improve what the previous one has done or at least not go back on the advances that the previous ones have made.”

Regarding Colombia, Eduardo Solis, Latin America marketing manager and product specialist for solar solutions provider Growatt, added, “we have seen throughout Latin America changes of governments one after another, sometimes with different ideas, different government proposals, but what is a fact is that distributed generation, being a means that democratizes energy, is very easy to support and it's very difficult to stop the growth of this market.”

Regional expansion also has piqued Dominican Republic power generator EGE Haina’s interest.

“The idea would be to have a regional presence, the entire area of Central America and the Caribbean, and from our parent group we're looking at how to access those markets and take advantage of the renewable energy boom that we have in several countries, such as Colombia, Ecuador and some Central American countries,” EGE Haina development manager Ricardo Estevez said at the event.

And commenting on the potential to integrate battery storage in the Dominican Republic, Soventix Caribbean CEO Alfonso Rodríguez forecast that “in industrial consumers, if the policy is adequate, it's possible to implement a gigawatt hour in storage systems that will be very useful to stabilize the operation of the network and will be very useful to integrate much more renewable energy.”

“I believe that it is not complicated to be able to integrate two to three additional gigawatt hours in battery systems in utility-scale projects,” he added.

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