The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) estimates that about 10 clean energy companies will sell as part of the procurement process that is going to begin very soon.
The institution announced yesterday that it has already sent to The Gaceta, the invitation to make a first project selection process to buy 140 megawatts (MW), the equivalent consumption of 56,000 average homes in the country.
Teofilo de la Torre, chief executive of ICE, said they expect to spend about $ 350 million in the purchase of that energy. The specific amount depends on the offer that private companies do, but the rates are lower and upper range as defined by the Regulatory Authority of Public Services (Aresep).
The ICE will select up to 100 MW in wind energy projects and 40 MW in water at this early stage.
According to Rene Castro, Minister of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications, in a second phase be extended the purchase of 60 MW, reaching 200 MW in total, which would imply a total acquisition of approximately $ 600 million.
Mario Alvarado, executive director of the Costa Rican Association of Power Producers, called the announcement “very positive”, but claimed to have “reservations” about the certainty as to the tariff issue.
“There is an opinion of the Attorney General’s Office indicating that the Aresep bands can not set prices,” he said.
According to Alvarado, are correct ICE estimates that about 10 companies will participate in the process, because by law any interested party may offer more than 20 MW.
This is the first time in about 10 years that the ICE will use the process that allows the 7200 Act for the purchase of electricity.
This law authorizes the ICE to sign contracts with private companies or cooperatives for the purchase and sale of the surpluses of power available, provided that not more than 20 MW per company and used as energy or water non conventional sources.
The maximum contract term is for 20 years.
Castro said that with this purchase of clean energy, the Government will achieve an increase from the current 92% to 95% in 2014 to generate electricity with renewable energy.