Ecopetrol is preparing to award power purchase agreements for two additional solar projects to supply its oil operations in Colombia after operations began at its first, a 21 MW project developed by AES Gener's local subsidiary.

Ecopetrol plans to find developers to build an 80 MW solar park to supply the Campo Rubiales oil field, which it has operated since 2016, and a 50 MW project to supply the Estación San Fernando storage and pumping station, which is located between the Castilla and Chichimene oil fields. The company is aiming to bring the two projects online between late 2020 and early 2021.

On Oct. 18, AES Colombia brought online the 21 MW Castilla Solar Park, located in Castilla La Nueva, Meta department. The project has a 15-year PPA with Ecopetrol, which is using the generation to power its Campo Castilla oil field, which represents the largest oil deposit in Colombia. The PPA was signed in 2018 after Ecopetrol held a tender for the project.

The $20 million project is the largest solar project developed under the "self generation" regime in the country. AES constructed the plant and will be responsible for its operations and maintenance.

Construction started in March, and commercial operations began on Oct. 18. Financing details were not disclosed.

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