With the acquisition of three PV solar projects, the company specialized in development, construction, operation, maintenance and financing of renewable energy projects, takes a relevant position in the Colombian solar market. With this milestone, Verano’s on-grid portfolio in Latam exceeds 3 GWp, in addition to its sizable green hydrogen portfolio in the region.
A significant milestone for the renewable energy developer, Verano Energy, was the closing of the purchase process of three photovoltaic solar parks in Colombia, with a total of 296 MWp, under the new resolution of the UPME (Unidad de Planeación Minero-Energética), the Colombian regulator that delivers or assigns interconnections. Photovoltaic solar energy is the key to a more sustainable future and it is Verano’s commitment and focus to be a relevant player in Latam in this area, with its presence in Chile, Peru, Argentina, and now reactivating Colombia.
“The majority of our experience and success has been in our main market of Chile, where we have connected almost 50 different solar projects. We have put an emphasis on expanding and diversifying in the region, and continue to deploy capital in our internal portfolio of over 3 GWp. Now, we see a clear path to begin to invest in our Colombian portafolio through the projects identified and purchased. Colombia is an attractive and strategic market for us”, said Dylan Rudney, CEO of Verano Energy.
“As a company, we are transitioning from a pure solar developer and EPC to an IPP (Independent Power Producer), which means we will be investing in and owning our own projects,” Rudney added.
Verano arrived in Colombia in 2018 and invested in a greenfield solar portfolio, most of which was left stranded without interconnections based on regulation. The company hopes to begin construction on its first projects in the market this year in order to begin operations during 2024. “While it is an important achievement for us as a company, it is also a very relevant milestone for the renewable market in general, and a sign of confidence that the Colombian government is supporting this type of project. We are close to finally seeing these developments as a reality,” said Simon Harb, Country Manager of Verano Energy in Colombia.
Recent governments in Colombia have focused on the importance of the energy transition with a strengthening of renewable energies and carbon reduction. To that end, there is a general support for the construction of this type of project to be able to diversify with different types of clean energy, focused on the medium and long term.
The timeframe for the plants to come into operation is scheduled between 2024 and 2026. Their construction will mean, in total, the hiring of around 350 direct workers for periods ranging from one to one and a half years, the generation of clean energy for 30 years and the reduction of production of approximately 312 thousand tons of CO2 (carbon dioxide) per year.
“We are determined to be one of the leading developers and IPPs in Colombia. We plan to apply our significant experience and lessons learned from other markets, such as Chile, where we have built more than 45 projects, to ensure the success of our first Colombian investments,” said Harb.
– Las Palmeras Solar Park: The largest of the three purchased projects will have a peak capacity of 270 MWp, and will be located in the department of Cesar.
– Solar Photovoltaic Chicalá: The 13 MWp plant will be built in Sabanalarga Atlántico.
– Solar Photovoltaic Bambú: The 13 MWp plant will be located in Barrancabermeja Santander, an area where most of Colombia’s oil refineries are located.
The construction investment for these three projects is more than US$300 millions.