Verano Capital, an American project developer headquartered in Chile, announced today that it won 18% of the solar capacity in auction at the Argentinian energy tender with its 100 MW VeCaSo-1 solar project. Located near Mendoza, Verano’s PV project was selected on a winning bid at $42.50/MWh. This is yet another achievement for the company, who completed the development of a project that was awarded a large chunk of the Chilean energy auction just 2 weeks ago.
The VeCaSo-1 100 MW project is set to be completed in 2019 and will run on a 20-year “take-or-pay” power purchase agreement. Within this PPA framework, the generator takes on the production risk, with its plant expected to deliver power on a must-run basis. CAMMESA, Argentina’s national utility company, on the other hand, must integrate all of the plant’s output, or remit compensatory energy payments if it fails to do so.
“We are very pleased that our bid was able to meet the demanding qualification criteria of this second round of tender. We are taking pride in delivering a very sound project, in terms of economics and prices of course, but also mindful of the Argentinian people and economy with the inclusion of local content sourcing,” commented Ramiro Marquesini, Country Manager of Verano Capital in Argentina.
Argentina is one of the largest power markets in South America, but it currently suffers from an important power deficit. It is planning on reaching 20% of renewable energy generation by 2025, an ambitious target that requires the addition of about 10 GW of additional capacity. In 2015, the government introduced the RenovAr auction programme with the objective to scale up Argentina’s renewable energy uptake through yearly tenders. RenovAr launched its first tender to select 1,100 MW of renewable energy projects in May 2016. In this second round, the tender has awarded 1.2 GW of projects, 450 MW of which are solar PV.
“This was another example of a very competitive auction. There were over 99 participating bids and only 12 winning bids. At Verano Capital, we have a flexible and well-calibrated operation that gives us an advantage over larger competitors,” said Marquesini.
Verano Capital, whose core business is to offer turnkey development, EPC, O&M, and asset management services to investment funds, continues to deliver on its ambitious growth plans. It was one of the major winners of Chile’s latest energy tenders, and is firmly established among the country’s key renewable energy players. The developer has already delivered five operating utility-scale projects, has five more to be commissioned in 2017, and over twenty projects under development seeking equity. Verano, which currently has offices in Chile, Argentina and the US, is also set to expand to Colombia this year.
“This major win is yet another big step towards our goal of consolidating our leading position in the South American market. We have a growing pipeline of projects with more than 450 MW in Argentina alone, and hope to replicate our efforts in this project in the future. We have all the skills required to deliver turnkey quality projects, as well as the experience and agility needed to navigate the Latin American energy sector very effectively,” Marquesini concluded.