Argentina will hold its first solar power auction on October 12 and the auction is fast-moving and competitive. The bidding deadline earlier this month attracted more than 2.8 GW of solar bids for only 300 MW of PV (photovoltaic) projects and 30 percent of the solar due diligence reports for these bids were delivered by Vaisala, global leader in environmental and industrial measurement and an industry-leading provider of renewable energy consulting services.
Argentina has set an aggressive goal of 20 percent renewable energy by 2025. With this first auction, it now joins several other Latin American countries in launching public tenders for renewable energy. The auctions are part of Argentina's new RenovAR program, which will spur rapid development of the country's rich solar and wind resources. Argentina expects to attract outside investment of $4-5 billion (3.6-4.5 billion euros) in its solar industry alone over the next five years.
Solar resource assessment is key to financing solar projects because it helps ensure that the project will be able to deliver its projected power consistently and reliably. The estimation of solar energy production must be as accurate as possible with low uncertainty for an auction bid to be competitive.
Vaisala acquired global renewable energy consulting firm, 3TIER, in 2013 to better support customers in the solar and wind sectors. The firm has unmatched experience in solar due diligence, having helped clients secure over $5 billion in financing for many of the world's largest solar projects, and continues to deliver its energy consulting services under the Vaisala 3TIER® Services brand.
"Vaisala has helped advance the science of solar resource assessment," says Gwendalyn Bender, Product Manager for Solar Assessment, Vaisala. "In the Argentinian auction, our accuracy and speed helped us meet all of our clients' deadlines."
"Our bankable report arrived in less than two weeks," said Ady Vyas, Director of Engineering at Canada-based s2e Technologies, a company developing solar projects in Argentina. "Vaisala was great to work with. They involved us in the process and were flexible about our needs."
Vaisala also recently launched a turn-key solar weather station and an online solar time series product. Both tools help solar developers with high-quality solar resource assessment, a requirement for securing project capital, but especially important as the market in many regions becomes more competitive.
"Vaisala has a deep understanding of weather and climate," said Fabio Griffo, Energy Sales Manager for Latin America, Vaisala. "We are honored to contribute our expertise and help play a part as Argentina expands its renewable energy capacity to meet its ambitious targets."