In Colombia there is a new regime for the connection to the grid of electric power generators and self generators. Here, we identify the main rules.
Project class 1: The first thing is classification. To date, electric power generators, cogenerators, self generators and some end users who are interested in promoting these activities are classified as class 1 projects.
Single window: This digital tool centralizes the services associated with the allocation of transportation capacity of the National Interconnected System (SIN) and is used by the Energy Mining Planning Unit (UPME). Through this tool, developers register their power generation project.
UPME’s role: UPME will be responsible for receiving transmission capacity assignment requests in the SIN for class 1 projects. That is, requests for energy generation projects.
Studies: The holders of the generation projects must submit two studies with their capacity allocation request. One is the connection study, and the second is for the availability of physical space.
The connection study: In the connection studies, connection options are analyzed, normally up to three connection alternatives are presented, and it is recommended which of these options best meets the technical and economic requirements.
Studies content: In addition to identifying the general information of the project, it should mainly contain the description of the project’s capacity, delivery capacity, the connection point, geographical location of the project, mention if the project requires network expansion, social and environmental information on
the project, the transporter responsible for the connection point and owner of the connection point.
Prior consultation and licenses: The request must contain information about the plant and the connection point. In both cases, the origin or not of prior consultation, environmental license, and archaeological permit must be related.
Deadline: By March 31 of each year, interested parties must register their request for assignment of capacity for the study by UPME through the digital window tool.
Priority: The evaluation in the allocation of capacity considers some guidelines that give priority to the projects, of course, to those that attend one or more of them. One of these guidelines is met by projects that guarantee the provision of energy service at the lowest economic cost, such as power generation projects with non-conventional sources of renewable energy.
Every change has an impact, and in Colombia the new rules for the allocation of energy transport capacity have not been the exception. For this reason, at this moment, there is a transition that seeks to solve problems of hoarding connection points, free up network capacity that is not being used, and have unified and visible information for all. All with the aim of streamlining the connection procedure to the SIN.
Hemberth Suárez Lozano Founding partner of OGE Legal Services