Uruguay wind-power prices fall sharply in second tender

Prices for Uruguay’s second wind-power tender came in around the $63/MWh mark, echoing the low levels seen at Brazil’s tender last week.

Three wind farm projects developed by a local group and two German outfits are likely to be offered contracts, according to the conditions set out for the tender process.

Ensol, owned by local entrepreneur Juan Otegui, offered the lowest rate of $62.35/MWh for 50MW; Generación Eólica Minas, owned by Germany’s Sowitec, offered a rate of $63.90/MWh for 42MW; and Aguas Leguas, owned by the German eab group, offered a rate of $64.96/MWh for 100MW.

However, in an effort to get the wind farms on line as quickly as possible to address growing power needs, winning projects will be paid $110/MWh for electricity produced from January 2013 until the end of 2014.

The tender, which received nearly 1.1GW of proposed projects, calls for 150MW worth of projects. But the potential winning bids represent 192MW of power.

A total of 23 wind farm projects were offered by 17 companies.

According to the conditions of the tender, eab will be asked to reduce its asking bid to that of Sowitec, in which case all of the power it wishes to sell would be contracted, bringing the tender total to 192MW.

Should eab decline, the next bid – for 50MW at $66.99/MWh – will be offered the same deal.

In the first 150MW wind tender held by UTE earlier this year, prices ranged from $85/MWh to $87/MWh.

The steep reduction in prices is at least partly attributed to the results of Brazil’s tender, held last week, in which the lowest going rate hit R$99.39/MWh ($60.23).

Turbine producers have lowered their prices in both Brazil and Uruguay, fuelling the cheaper rates. Manufacturers who did not win in Brazil may have seen Uruguay as a second chance to link-up with developers.

Wobben Windpower, Vestas and Gamesa have all been keen on Uruguay, and have apparently been in talks with the frontrunners, Recharge has learned.

UTE, the state utility, will analyse the bids and award the 20-year contracts within a month. Projects must come online within three years.

Christiana Sciaudone, Rio de Janeiro

comments by Disqus