Costa Rica to expand private renewable energy markets
From the print edition
By Isabella Cota Schwarz | Special to The Tico Times
Hoping to attract private investment, the state-owned Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) is opening bids for new renewable-energy projects for the first time in 10 years, the organization announced on Tuesday.
At least 10 companies are expected to participate as cogenerators that sell energy to ICE, which will select hydroelectric projects to generate 100 megawatts in total, and wind-power projects to generate 40 MW. Construction of such projects would require an investment of about $350 million.
By law, private companies and cooperatives in Costa Rica are limited to selling no more than 20 MW to ICE, which holds a monopoly on the distribution and administration of electricity in the country. Each contract with the new companies will be for 20 years.
“The 140 megawatts to come out of this competition are enough to supply about 56,000 households in the country, which makes it an important financial contribution to be rolled out in the next three years,” said the organization’s executive director, Teófilo de la Torre.
The administration’s goal is to have 95 percent of the country’s energy come from renewable sources by 2014.
President Laura Chinchilla said the move would bring the country closer to its carbon-neutral goal and away from using fossil fuels.
“After 10 years of paralyzing opportunities for private companies to cogenerate electricity, we are finally taking this step,” she said on Tuesday.
You may be interested
Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean BushbyEllen Zoe Golden - May 22, 2018
A three-part look at adaptive surfing in Costa Rica. Read Part I here to learn how a Central Pacific coach is…
Costa Rica launches Pride Connection networkElizabeth Lang - May 22, 2018
As Costa Rica continues to grapple with the disagreements about marriage equality and gender identity that dominated the second round…
Costa Rica at a glance: top news from the past weekThe Tico Times - May 21, 2018
Newly inaugurated Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado is closing in on two weeks on the job. Here are some of…