The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

Uruguay Plans 200 Megawatts of the World's Cheapest Solar Energy

Uruguay Plans 200 Megawatts of the World's Cheapest Solar Energy

Uruguay will offer contracts next month to buy power from 200 megawatts of solar farms at the world's cheapest rates as the South American nation seeks to add low-cost generation.

President Jose Mujica plans to sign a decree in two weeks that will require Uruguay’s national power utility Administracion Nacional de Usinas y Transmisiones Electricas to purchase electricity from the projects at a set rate of about $90 a megawatt hour, Ramon Mendez, director of energy at the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining, said today in a telephone interview.

Uruguay will produce some of the world’s cheapest wind energy and expects to do the same with solar power as the cost of photovoltaic panels fall, he said.

The price the government is offering is probably the lowest in the world and may not attract developers, according to Jenny Chase, an analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance in Zurich.

“That level of compensation is very optimistic,” Chase said in a telephone interview today. “Most countries where solar is being built offer higher rates than that, or extra tax incentives, as in the U.S.”

China, which has some sites that receive as much sun as Uruguay, offers $160 a megawatt hour and cloudy Germany offers 118 euros ($154.53) a megawatt hour, Chase said.

Developers will have four months after the decree is issued to submit proposals and will be granted contracts on a first- come first-serve basis, Mendez said. Projects may be as large as 50 megawatts.

Developers Optimistic

“We’ve spoken to at least three companies who say they can sell at that price,” Mendez said. If the offer isn’t successful, “we just wait another couple of years for equipment prices to come down and we try again.”

Solar radiation levels in Uruguay average about 5 kilowatt hours a square meter a day, about the same level as the south of Spain, Mendez said.

The decree also calls for a bid to develop a 1-megawatt and 5-megawatt plant, he said. Both projects will sell energy to state utility UTE for 25 years.

Power bought from hydroelectric plants, which produce about 80 percent of the nation’s electricity, costs on average $80 a megawatt hour, he said. Wind developers offered to sell power at $63 a megawatt hour in a 2011 auction for new capacity, slightly higher than levels reached in a Brazil auction the same year which were the lowest in the world at the time. The projects are still being developed.

Copyright 2013 Bloomberg

Lead image: Uruguay sign via Shutterstock


India's Seabiscuit: How Solar Energy Can Be the Symbol of Hope for Electricity Woes

Aditya Goel, Ornate Solar For those unfamiliar with the story of the horse that Hollywood made famous, Seabiscuit was a small horse who had an inauspicious start to his racing career. History though, remembers Seabiscuit not for his diminutive...
Tesla batteries

Advanced Microgrid to Buy Tesla Batteries for Storage Projects

Justin Doom, Bloomberg Advanced Microgrid Solutions, a provider of energy-storage systems, agreed to buy as much as 500 megawatt-hours of battery capacity from Tesla Motors Inc.

Three Chinese Solar Panel Groups Lose Exemption From EU Tariffs

Jonathan Stearns, Bloomberg

The European Union applied tariffs on three groups of Chinese solar-panel makers that have been exempted from the levies, potentially reviving tensions in the EU’s biggest trade case of its kind.

Stock graph

Green Bonds Sprout as Wall Street Embraces Renewable Energy Debt

Cordell Eddings, Bloomberg Bonds backing clean energy and other sustainable initiatives are booming. Investors are snapping up green bonds at the fastest pace on record, as big banks like Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp. pile in with new iss...


Volume 18, Issue 3


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:



PV-201: Introduction to PV Design & Installation

PV 201 Introduction to PV Design & Installation is simply the best i...

PV-301: Advanced PV Design & Installation

This highly desirable and advanced course is intended for the profession...

PV-401: Advanced Field Training

Real world on the job solar installation, training, and experience is th...


How to Reduce Soft Costs With a Critical Path Map

For solar installers, soft costs are a fact of life. However, they don&r...

Five Reasons to Go Solar Now

Solar’s popularity has skyrocketed recently, thanks to a price dro...

Up to Bat – Why More Solar Companies Are Thinking Seriously About A...

Given the growth of the solar industry in the U.S., with 2014 year-...


Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now