Nicaragua panel to clear way for 1,700-MW Copalar

Nicaragua’s national assembly has created a special committee to initiate statutory reforms to allow development of the 1,700-MW Copalar hydroelectric project in Nicaragua’s south Atlantic autonomous region.

In a report carried by Business News Americas, the newspaper La Prensa said the committee would identify and advance necessary legal reforms and would meet with groups that potentially would be connected to and affected by the project.

Nicaragua’s current hydroelectric framework law sets a 30-MW ceiling for private hydroelectric projects. For Copalar to advance, that and other legislation would have to be modified, including an autonomous governance law for the regional government where the project would be located, in Region Autonoma Atlantico Sur.

“We will conduct all the necessary consultations for the development of this renewable energy project so necessary for the country as well as the legal reforms that are lacking, and the meetings with interested investors,” committee President Eduardo Mena was quoted as saying.

In 2003, Mexico’s government-owned utility, Comision Federal de Electricidad, signed an agreement with Nicaragua to study development of the project, then listed as 650 MW.

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