Colombia’s first-ever battery storage tender won by Canadian Solar

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Rendering of Slate, a solar-plus-storage project which Canadian Solar’s development subsidiary Recurrent Energy is currently working on in King’s County, California. Image: Canadian Solar.

Vertically-integrated solar PV company Canadian Solar has been awarded a 45MW / 45MWh battery storage project by Colombia’s Ministry of Energy and Mines.

The ministry’s Energy Mining Planning Unit (UPME) launched the tender earlier this year, calling for proposals for deploying grid-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) technology to help alleviate system constraints and boost reliability of the grid in Barranquilla, in the Department of Atlantico area of northern Colombia. It will also aid addition of greater shares of renewable energy onto the network.

UPME sought suppliers, construction and operations and maintenance (O&M) partners, and said designs could involve either a single system or distributed systems connected to strategically located substations. Energy-Storage.news reported in late June that of eight bid submissions considered “serious” by UPME, subsidiaries of Canadian Solar and Engie were among international players taking part, along with locally-headquartered companies.

Canadian Solar announced its award yesterday. It said the Latin American nation’s government has granted a 15-year revenue structure, indexed to Colombia’s inflation or producer price index. The project is expected to reach commercial operation by June of 2023.

“We are very proud to have won this project in the first pure storage tender in Colombia. This is also our first energy storage project in the country and the Latin America region,” Canadian Solar CEO and chairman Dr Shawn Qu said.

Canadian Solar has been angling to gain a greater market share of the growing energy storage industry for some time, with standalone battery and solar-plus-storage new build and retrofit projects underway in key markets like the US state of California. Qu said that the company will continue to execute on its “global energy storage growth strategy”. Canadian Solar recently said that its US-based development subsidiary Recurrent Energy has 2.3GWh of US battery storage projects either contracted or already in construction

Battery storage has been gradually gaining a foothold in the wider Latin America region, with potential for greater renewables integration and also adding reliability to often very fragmented electricity transmission networks. This includes behind-the-meter commercial and industrial (C&I) storage in places like Mexico and Puerto Rico, as well as some large-scale front-of-meter projects in Chile.

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