Bogotá — Colombian company Erco Energía has raised $30 million from Norway’s Norfund for the development of solar energy in the country, the company told Bloomberg Línea on Monday.
The resources will allow the Antioquia-based company to build between 35 and 50 solar power plants with the capacity to generate up to 700 MW (megawatts).
Erco Energía, which also has a presence in Brazil, Panama and the US, said this investment seeks to support and accelerate Colombia’s energy transition by strengthening and diversifying the country’s energy matrix.
Norfund is a Norwegian investment fund for developing countries, owned and funded by the Norwegian government, and whose states mission is to create jobs and improve lives by investing in businesses that drive sustainable development, according to the fund’s website.
“With these resources, the construction of between 35 and 50 medium and large-scale solar plants will be accelerated, in addition to continuing with the installation of more solar, electric mobility and energy storage solutions for the industrial, commercial and residential segments,” Juan Camilo López, Erco’s CEO, said.
For his part, Juan Esteban Hincapié, co-founder of the company, said: “this investment will leverage a strategy that will focus on using technology and data to optimize the implementation, generation, commercialization and management of distributed energy resources”.
Likewise, “in the medium term, it will offer people clean and reliable energy, which will also generate economic savings to increase their productivity and growth in the future”, he added.
Erco Energía provides its solutions and services to more than 3,500 users and has built more than 2,100 projects, including solar generation, storage and electric mobility projects.
In addition, it has contributed to the installation of solar parks that it operates and maintains, and sells energy to end users, and one of is partners for energy trading is digital energy trader NEU Energy.
Colombia’s solar power development heats up
By 2027, Erco Energía expects to install 700MW of solar power, 500MW will be part of its generation portfolio.
For Erco Energía this negotiation “represents Norfund’s vote of confidence in the Colombian energy sector, fosters the relationship between Norway and Colombia, and reconfirms the potential and talent that the country has to develop and build clean energy generation projects”.
Colombia’s majority state-owned oil company Ecopetrol inaugurated the Brisas Solar Ecopark in the municipality of Aipe, in Huila, earlier this month, which has a generation capacity of 26MWp and more than 49,000 panels with bifacial technology.
The infrastructure was built by AES Colombia, under an energy supply contract, for Ecopetrol’s operations in Huila department, according to the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
The plant’s operation will also reduce CO2 emissions by more than 216,000 tons during the term of the contract, the ministry said.
“This is part of the plan we have to see in 2025 with about 900MW of installed capacity in renewable energy. All these actions are aimed at our goal of zero net carbon emissions in 2050, and for that we are moving forward with wind energy projects, biomass, hydrogen pilots, among others,” Ecopetrol CEO Felipe Bayón said at the time.
Ecopetrol also operates the Castilla and San Fernando solar eco-parks, also built by AES Colombia, and which supply energy to the company, and are located in the department of Meta and have a combined generation capacity of 82MW.
As of December 2022, the two assets recorded a reduction of more than 32,000 tons of CO2 and generated savings of more than 22 billion pesos ($4.7 million for Ecopetrol as of October 30 last year, according to the company.