Ministry of Mines and Energy. Bogota D.C. November 18th, 2018. The Minister of Mines and Energy, Maria Fernanda Suarez, has highlighted the importance of the approval of the first ANLA environmental license for a national wind power generation project.
The National Authority for Environmental Licenses (ANLA) has approved an environmental license for the "Alpha Wind Power Generation Project," which shall be the first of its kind within Colombia, located in La Guajira, one of the departments with the greatest opportunities for the production of Unconventional Renewable Energy.
The project, which included construction and operation activities, shall have a generation capacity of between 200 and 250 MW, inside an area of four thousand hectares, located in the rural settlement of Limoncito, within the Municipality of Maicao.
In this manner, the current government has begun to announce the promotion of ‘clean' energy usage under the principles of sustainable development.
The Minister of Mines and Energy, Maria Fernanda Suarez, has highlighted the significance of approving this license for the sake of the national energy transition. The goal is going from 50 MW in terms of the installed capacity corresponding to unconventional renewable energy sources, equivalent to the needs of a city like Ibague, to 1,500 MW, which is comparable to Cali and Medellin together, thus securing a more diversified and cleaner energy matrix.
The Alpha project is expected to operate 65 wind turbines, as well as an electrical substation that will collect energy from the wind power devices and connect it to the national transmission system.
The presence of indigenous communities has been certified within this area and the license applicant known as Vientos del Norte S.AS. has undertaken a prior consultation process, which was taken into consideration by the ANLA in order to issue the environmental license.
During the ‘Construyendo País' workshop, carried out in Uribia on October 13th, President Ivan Duque made a commitment to increase the share of Unconventional Renewable Energy by at least 10%, including wind power, as part of the total installed capacity nationwide. This implies the development of about 10 similar projects.
Benefits in terms of reducing greenhouse gas effect emissions as a result of the Alpha project are equivalent, at the time of maximum operation, to an estimated 330,000 tons of CO2 per year, which is basically the same amount of CO2 that, under a conservative scenario, may be captured by 18,000 hectares of wet forest over a year.
The ANLA is currently processing another two requests for environmental licenses intended for wind power generation projects as well as three more for photovoltaic power generation projects.