Installed power generation capacity in Panama may increase by 2,634 MW over the next 10 years, with the bulk of that coming from natural gas plants but hydroelectric contributing 373 MW.
That is according to the reference scenario of state power transmission company Etesa’s proposed 2020-34 expansion plan for the national interconnected system (PESIN).
The new gas-fired generation would come from Sinolam Smarter Energy LNG Power’s 458- MW Gas To Power Panamá project and Generadora de Gatun’s 670-MW Gatun project.
The balance of the potential capacity increase would come from solar (622 MW), wind (511 MW) and hydro (373 MW), while 414 MW of bunker and 100 MW of diesel capacity would be retired.
As of September 2021, the country had total installed electric generation capacity of 3,262.46 MW. Hydropower made up 53.85% of this total, followed by thermal at 34.13%
BNamericas Project Profiles team is tracking over 20 hydro, solar and wind projects in the early stage and under construction in the country for a combined US$3.7 billion.
PESIN’s electricity dispatch component highlights the need to build the fourth main transmission line, which the expansion plan sees online in 2025. The line would eliminate transmission restrictions and forced generation, allow the penetration of non-conventional renewable energies, and provide operational flexibility during programmed maintenance of lines one, two and three, among other benefits, according to the roadmap.
Meanwhile, annual electricity consumption growth in 2020-34 is forecast to range between 1.48% to 5.69%, and 2.16% to 4.85% for maximum demand.