August 9 (Renewables Now) - Colombia’s ministry of mining and energy has launched the country’s first offshore wind leasing round, and expects to award permits for the use of sea areas in the second half of 2023.
The news was announced on Friday in one of the last moves by the ministry led by Diego Mesa. Mesa ended his term on Sunday when Colombia’s new president Gustavo Petro was sworn in.
The Colombian government earlier last week released a resolution that establishes the rules, requirements and conditions for sea area tendering procedures, in which wind energy promoters will compete for temporary permits to occupy an offshore zone.
Colombia’s national maritime authority DIMAR selected areas of the coast of the Bolivar and Atlantico departments as sites for the first leasing round. There, promoters will be allowed to build wind farms with an installed capacity of at least 200 MW, the resolution states.
Winning bidders will be entitled to a 30-year concession, which can be extended for no more than 15 years. They will also have to commission their wind farms within ten years from securing the temporary permit.
The competition will kick off once the administrator of the process is determined.
Colombia’s offshore wind potential is estimated at 50 GW, the government said in the national offshore wind roadmap, the final version of which was released in early May. The government of the now former president Ivan Duque then said it was planning to launch the first offshore leasing round before its term ended on August 7.
On Saturday, president-elect Petro named philosopher and university professor Irene Velez as the new minister of mining and energy, daily paper El Colombiano reported.