The National Government has approved the Generation Transmission Reference Expansion Plan for the period 2016-2030 with which Colombia will incorporate 5,362 new electric MW in the next fifteen years of which 2,025 MW, that is around 40%, will be produced using renewable energies.
On this new Plan, Colombia continues its commitment towards renewable energies. According to a statement by the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the country’s electricity generation investments, including projects already defined, are estimated at US $ 16.42 billion, while the new transmission infrastructure represents an investment of 156 millions US dollars.
In terms of generation, the Plan stipulates that Colombia needs an additional 5,362 MW over the next 15 years, which it will distribute as follows: wind (1,456 MW), hydro (1,427 MW), coal (970) and smaller plants (793 MW).
“The adoption of this Expansion Plan analyzes the alternatives to meet electricity demand with security, reliability and sustainability, and where renewable energy plays a predominant role in large, medium and small scale projects,” said Minister of Mines and Energy, German Arce Zapata.
Colombia to incorporate 2,025 MW of renewable energy
The director of the UPME, the Mining Energy Planning Unit that has drawn up the Plan, explained that they have taken into account both hydraulic dependence and the CO2 emissions or generation costs. “In addition, this plan addresses new elements such as the adaptability level of the system for the incorporation of intermittent sources, the estimation of early warnings and the expansion of the electric transmission infrastructure with Ecuador,” said Jorge Alberto Valencia Marín.
In terms of transmission, the plan identifies two works that will need to be executed through public calls: the construction in the Department of Santander of the Nueva Granada substation, which will allow to connect 236 megawatts from generation plants to the National Interconnected System, and Construction of a third transformer at the Sogamoso Substation.
On the other hand, in the departments of Casanare and Arauca, new connection points have been established at 230,000 volts, which will interconnect the San Antonio substation in the Department of Boyacá with the new Alcaraván substation, in the Department of Casanare, which in turn will be interconnected with a new point in the future substation La Paz, Department of Arauca.
“The plan puts forward ambitious projects at energy transmission networks level, strengthening areas such as Santander, Arauca and Casanare, as well as deepening the analysis in the Caribbean area, mainly for the connection of the Guajira wind projects,” the Minister emphasized. The UPME estimates these works to enter into operation between 2021 and 2022.
“These works represent a multipurpose solution that will guarantee meeting the national demand under criteria of reliability, quality and safety, as well as allowing the connection of the country´s different generation resources. We have reached these conclusions on the basis of technical and economic analysis in environmental and social aspects, “concluded UPME director.