The Argentine government has outlined the terms of its first tender for the construction of a high-voltage transmission line under its newly created Public Private Participation (PPP) scheme.
The tender is for the 490-km, 500-kV Rio Diamante-Charlone line and is part of the Latin American country’s strategy to boost its renewables capacity.
The power line will cross the country from Rio Diamante in Mendoza province to Charlone in Buenos Aires province.
To take part in the tender, participants must have previously constructed substations and power lines with over 300 kV of capacity.
After the contracts are signed, the winners will have a period of 33 months to start operating the transmission lines.
They will provide operation and maintenance services of the lines for a period of up to 15 years.
The Argentine parliament passed a new energy law in 2015 requiring the country to reach a 20% renewables target by 2025.
Argentine Energy and Mining Minister Juan Jose Aranguren said earlier in 2018 that the country was expected to surpass its 20% during the current year.
The energy ministry has predicted that 25% of the country’s power generation could come from renewables by 2030.
In December, Argentina awarded contracts worth more than 1,400 MW of generating capacity to developers in its most recent renewables auction.
The auction results were the latest injection of energy into the country’s renewables industry, which was virtually non-existent less than three years ago – before President Mauricio Macri came to power.
In October 2017, the energy ministry awarded contracts to 17 projects with 1,109 MW of total capacity in the first round of its renewables auction, known as RenovAr.
However, experts have warned that Argentina is still not totally prepared for the very rapid expansion of renewables.
It is estimated that the South American country needs to add 5,000 km of new transmission lines over the next three years to keep pace with the rapid expansion of its renewable capacity.
The government said last year that it was planning to tender a total of seven 500-kV transmission line projects, in order to meet growth in the renewables sector. They are expected to cover a total area of 2,175 km and involve investment of US$2.2 billion.