More than 2,300 MW of hydropower in Colombia’s project pipeline for 2021

Colombian pipeline

Colombia’s power generation project pipeline has grown 14% this year, and this includes 2,423 MW of proposed hydropower expansion.

This growth was catapulted by new solar and wind developments in the country’s north, according to data compiled by BNamericas. Energy ministry planning unit UPME has 314 active developments totaling 18,286 MW of capacity in its registry, up from 16,020 MW (from 322 projects) at the end of December.

The proposed expansion is led by the solar PV segment, which boasts projects totaling 9,018 MW of capacity. Wind is next with 4,146 MW, followed by thermal (2,698 MW), hydropower and biomass (1 MW).

Solar capacity from active projects has jumped by 1,230 MW in 2021, while the combined potential of wind initiatives has risen by 986 MW.

Of the 314 projects in UPME’s registry, 176 are the subject of initial feasibility studies, while 133 are in the permitting phase and five in the final development stage.

Forty-three percent of the total (136 projects) are 1 MW to 10 MW in size, while the 10 MW to 20 MW and 50 MW to 100 MW ranges account for 18% each. There are 41 projects above 100 MW and 11 in the sub-1 MW category.

The largest generation initiative is the 2,240-MW Nencol-5 thermoelectric plant near Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast. Next is the 649-MW La Paz hydropower dam in Caquetá, the 500-MW Kappa wind complex in La Guajira, the 460-MW Butantán hydropower plant in Caldas, the 414-MW Guajira II wind farm in La Guajira and the 400-MW Guayepo solar park in Atlántico.

The developer with the biggest project portfolio, in capacity terms, is Nodo Energético del Norte with 2,240 MW, followed by Universal Stream (649 MW), Jemeiwaa Kai (648 MW), Gensa (646 MW), Isagén (567 MW) and Kappa Energía (500 MW).

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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