Sian Crampsie

Chile’s National Energy Commission (CNE) has awarded contracts for thermal, hydro, wind and solar power plants in its latest auction, it has announced.

The country’s latest tender for power generating capacity attracted 84 bids for a total of 85 000 GWh, almost seven times the 12 430 GWh that was auctioned.

The average winning price of bids was the lowest achieved since the auctions started ten years ago, and will mean that energy bills could fall by as much as 20 per cent from 2021, the government said.

The average winning price was $47.6/MWh, 40 per cent below the average price of $79.3/MWh reached in 2015 and 66 per cent below the average price of $130/MWh reached in 2013.

Auction winners included Endesa Chile, which was awarded 6.3 GW of hydropower, thermal and wind energy capacity, and Mainstream Renewable Power, which will invest $1.65 billion in the construction of seven wind farms around Chile.

Acciona won a bid to build the 183 MW San Gabriel wind farm in Southern Araucanía region, while SunEdison also succeeded with its $29.1/MWh bid for the Maria Elena solar farm.

Other winning bidders included Chilean firm Besalco Energías Renovables, which will add 986 MW to the grid, and GPC, a unit of Gas Natural Fenosa, which will build 320 MW of wind and solar capacity.