28 companies offering potential water and wind to ICE for alternative power sources

The convocation of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) to purchase clean energy from private firms exceeded the expectations of the organization.

This is evidenced by the recent contest made by the entity to acquire 140 megawatts (MW) of electricity produced from the wind and water.

The open space was distributed in 100 MW for wind energy and 40 MW for hydropower.

However, the offer received reached the 360 megawatts: 284.5 MW for wind generation and 75 MW hydroelectric dams.

In the first case, 13 companies competing for the quota wind power and 15 others do it for the water.

Companies offer complex build small farms, of between 9,000 and 20,000 kilowatt (kW), which, in most cases, would be in Guanacaste.

Meanwhile, the water-based generators ranging from small plants of 770 kW to 13,984 kW in various parts of the country.

The receipt of tenders closed on 27 August.

The water-based generation and wind is cheaper and cleaner than that produced with fuels, such as thermal plant Garabito ICE.

Teofilo de la Torre explained that soon will open the economic offers, because not yet know at what point within the range of rates authorized by the Aresep, proposed projects are located.

The energy that these companies will sell to ICE in the future has a price fixed by the Regulatory Authority of Public Services (Aresep) this year.

For production from water power, the cost ranges from a low of $ 0.0798 per kWh and a maximum of $ 0.1363 per kWh.

Meanwhile, for wind power, the minimum is $ 0.0830 per kWh and the maximum $ 0.1171 per kWh.

“We will choose those (jobs) that are in the lower part of the band,” said De la Torre.

Today, the private sector contributes with 21% (512 MW) of installed capacity in the country (2,450 MW). However, the law permits increase this share to 30% of full potential (735 MW).

This competition comes after more than a decade of suspension ICE contracts for power purchase new plants in the private sector.

For Mario Alvarado, executive director of the Costa Rican Association of Power Producers (Acope), this explains why there was a positive response, despite the overhead obstacles of paperwork and legal uncertainty that persists for these projects.

“There was a great participation of stakeholders, because they were over 10 years of not participating and because private generation is competitive,” said Alvarado.

He said, for example, the cost per kilowatt hydropower plant in Pirrís between $ 0.21 and $ 0.22, well above the maximum set by the private generation Regulatory Authority.

The way to see these projects is generating long. Once the Institute, make the choice (next month), will sign a letter of commitment and participation guarantee with businessmen.