Argentina selects rural off-grid solar winners

Argentina has picked European and local firms to implement its rural, off-grid solar PV Permer programme.

The winners includes Spain’s Solar Jiennense, a group formed by Ennera and Tecnoambiental, Italy’s Mega SRL and Argentina’s Coradir.

These companies will by mid-2017 install around 5,700 off-grid rooftop PV arrays in rural areas of eight provinces in the South American nation. The government said that 1,844 arrays in the provinces of Salta, Rio Negro and Neuquén were left uncontracted.

Another three bidders, including two Chinese firms, did not qualify.

'We started Argentina's renewable programme from a blank sheet'

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The $58m programme has backing from the World Bank and is one of the world’s largest rural off-grid solar initiatives.

Argentina’s power grid reaches over 99% of its urban population but only 78% of rural residents in a nation of 41 million.

Originally launched in 2008, the second stage of Permer comes as Argentina concludes tenders for over 1GW of utility-scale solar and wind projects, as part of the government’s bid to reach a target to 20% of non-hydro renewable power supply by 2025.

After Permer I concluded in 2010, about 7,000 rooftop solar PV arrays and about 3,000 mini-wind turbines between 300W and 600W were installed in 14 provinces.

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20 Oct 2016