Colombia’s biggest solar farm

The Celsia Solar Yumbo farm will use 35,000 solar panels.

Colombia has had a reliance on large hydroelectric generating plants, but as the 2016 Climatescope explains the renewable energy and energy efficiency law enacted in 2015 could mark a turning point for renewable energy integration in the country.

This report is a unique country-by country assessment which provides a snapshot “of where clean energy policy and finance stand today, and a guide to where clean energy can go tomorrow.”

Increased investment for low-carbon energy sources is especially useful as the country has a strong potential for non-conventional sources of energy generation, particularly solar, wind and biomass.

With this in mind, Colombian developer Celsia announced the construction of the country’s largest solar farm in February. The Celsia Solar Yumbo farm’s construction began on this month and is expected to continue until September.
It will be located in the municipality of Yumbo, Valle del Cauca and occupy an area of 18 hectares. The farm will count with 35,000 solar panels with a capacity of 9.9MW. Celsia expects to provide electricity for more than 8,000 households and through their work prevent the release of 6,000 tons of carbon dioxide.

The project will be operated by Epsa, a Celsia subsidiary and will generate roughly 16GWh per year.

“Installing this farm will be a dream come true for us. For more than four years we have been working, learning and experimenting with solar power in small scale projects,” said Celsia’s CEO Ricardo Sierra.

Just 20 years ago the same area hosted the Termoyumbo coal generating plant. For Celsia’s Sierra this is very symbolic as the area is making the transition from fossil fuel production to renewable energy.

Carlos Salazar, engineering leader Celsia, said: “With this first solar farm we seek to acquire capacities for the development of large-scale photovoltaic projects in Colombia, Panama and other countries of the region.”

In Colombia the company is looking forward to develop more solar farms in the departments of Bolívar, Santander and Cesar.

LatinAmerican Post | Maria Andrea Marquez