Colombia avanza hacia las energías limpias con la hoja de ruta de la Transición Energética Justa. Es un camino de retos y oportunidades. La meta es alcanzar un desarrollo justo y sostenible para todos.

Colombia se encuentra en un proceso de transición hacia fuentes de energía más limpias y sostenibles. 

La generación de electricidad en Colombia depende en un 70% de fuentes hidrológicas, que son consideradas fuentes renovables no convencionales. Sin embargo, cuando se observa la matriz energética en su conjunto, los hidrocarburos como el petróleo, el gas natural y el carbón tienen aún un rol predominante.  

En 2022, el sector petrolero aportó $18,16 billones a las arcas de la Nación, que representaron el 1,3% del PIB, con una previsión de aumento a 2,2% para 2023 gracias a la reforma tributaria y a un escenario favorable para las ventas de este combustible. Además, las exportaciones del sector significaron el 40% de las ventas totales al exterior, según la Asociación Colombiana de Petróleo y Gas (ACP). 

Estas cifras evidencian la dependencia económica de Colombia de los hidrocarburos, que es un desafío significativo para la transición hacia las energías renovables.

A pesar de esta dependencia, la capacidad instalada de generación de energía renovable ha crecido de manera constante. 

En 2023 la entrada en funcionamiento de 25 proyectos solares impulsó en un 70% la capacidad instalada en comparación con años anteriores, según la Asociación Energías Renovables SER Colombia. 

Estos avances son un paso positivo hacia la sostenibilidad, pero Colombia enfrenta aún retos importantes en su esfuerzo por transformar su matriz energética hacia opciones más limpias y sostenibles. 

Esta transformación no solo implica cambiar la mezcla de las fuentes de energía, sino también aumentar la producción energética total de manera sostenible y respetuosa con el medioambiente.

Para guiar ese proceso de transformación, el gobierno elaboró una serie inicial de cuatro documentos que conforman la hoja de ruta para la Transición Energética Justa (TEJ) en Colombia. Este conjunto de documentos, alineados con el Plan Nacional de Desarrollo 2022-2026, detalla los compromisos y las acciones hacia el ambicioso objetivo de lograr que el 50% del suministro energético del país provenga de fuentes renovables para 2030.

Transición Energética Justa: ejes y principios

La Transición Energética Justa (TEJ) es un objetivo fundamental del gobierno colombiano. La meta es avanzar hacia el uso de energías sostenibles, asegurar la soberanía energética y garantizar el acceso a la energía a todos los ciudadanos. También incluye acciones para enfrentar el desafío del cambio climático.

La Transición Energética Justa se sustenta en cuatro principios:

  • Equidad: la TEJ busca democratizar el acceso y la gestión de los recursos energéticos con modelos asociativos que garanticen precios justos. Además, se sustenta en el respeto por los ecosistemas y en un manejo energético que reduzca al mínimo el impacto en la sociedad y el ambiente.
  • Gradualidad, soberanía y confiabilidad: la meta es reemplazar gradualmente las fuentes de energía contaminantes por alternativas más limpias como las renovables. El objetivo es diversificar la matriz energética, lograr la autosuficiencia energética nacional y asegurar un suministro confiable que satisfaga la creciente demanda interna.
  • Participación social vinculante: se impulsa la creación de comunidades energéticas basadas en características culturales, étnicas, territoriales y productivas, para que los ciudadanos participen como consumidores y generadores en la cadena de valor eléctrica.
  • Transición energética intensiva en conocimiento: la transición debe guiarse por criterios científicos, técnicos y sociales para garantizar su eficiencia, sostenibilidad y justicia, y para evitar los efectos dañinos sobre la sociedad y el medioambiente.

Estos principios buscan garantizar que la TEJ sea justa, equitativa y sostenible, y que nadie se quede atrás en el proceso de cambio energético.

Hoja de ruta de la Transición Energética Justa

En un documento dividido en cuatro partes, el Ministerio de Minas y Energía de Colombia expone una estrategia detallada para lograr una Transición Energética Justa. 

Además, dado su compromiso con la transparencia y la inclusión, el gobierno invitó a la ciudadanía a que participara en el diseño de estas políticas. Para ello, ofreció estos documentos a la opinión pública, de manera que los ciudadanos pudieran hacer observaciones, comentarios y propuestas en un formulario, cuya fecha tope de entrega fue el 24 de septiembre de 2023. 

Tras el cierre de este período de consulta, se trabaja una nueva versión de los documentos, que incorporará los aportes de las comunidades.

Los cuatro componentes de la hoja de ruta son:

  1. Sistematización de los diálogos sociales nacionales

Registra los resultados de las 27 sesiones de consulta social y ciudadana sobre la estrategia y los objetivos de la transición energética, en las que participaron más de 2.000 personas. Esta participación es importante para que la transición energética sea justa y equilibrada, y para que considere las necesidades y expectativas de la sociedad.

  1. Diagnóstico base para la TEJ

Describe el contexto de la transición energética en Colombia. Se estructura en varias secciones: una introducción a la Transición Energética Justa, las tendencias globales de la transición energética y sus implicaciones para Colombia, y el marco normativo del proyecto. También aborda el auge de las energías renovables y su importancia en la transición energética.

  1. Escenarios nacionales para la TEJ

Se centra en identificar las acciones clave para llevar a cabo una transición energética justa en Colombia con miras al año 2050. Aborda varios ejes estratégicos enfocados en el sector industrial, que incluyen la transición hacia energéticos de bajas y cero emisiones, el desarrollo y la promoción de políticas públicas para impulsar la eficiencia energética y el fomento de la reindustrialización.

El documento también considera variables económicas como el PIB y la intensidad energética (la relación entre el consumo de energía y la actividad económica). Además, se muestran las estrategias y los planes relacionados con la movilidad sostenible y eléctrica, el desarrollo ferroviario y la estrategia climática de largo plazo de Colombia para cumplir el Acuerdo de París.

  1. Potencial energético subnacional y oportunidades de descarbonización en usos de energía final

El documento aborda temas como la demanda de energía en el sector industrial, la participación de energéticos en la industria, los usos principales de los energéticos en la industria, la eficiencia energética y los distritos energéticos en el sector industrial.

También aborda la descarbonización de la industria; para ello se propone sustituir los combustibles fósiles por materias primas con bajo contenido de carbono o sin carbono, como los Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). En este sentido, se propone el uso de combustibles y materias primas flexibles o a base de hidrógeno, biocombustibles, alimentos, energía solar, energía nuclear y energía geotérmica.

Programas estratégicos para la Transición Energética Justa

Tras la presentación de la hoja de ruta, el plan es ejecutar una serie de programas para avanzar en la transición energética. De acuerdo con el documento presentado por el Ministerio de Energía, los programas son los siguientes:

  1. Comunidades energéticas

Se impulsarán proyectos de energía solar, eólica y bioenergía para abastecer a comunidades energéticas. Además, se crearán distritos energéticos industriales.

  1. Expansión de las energías renovables

Se promoverá la interconexión eléctrica nacional y regional en Latinoamérica, junto con el despliegue de tecnologías de energía solar, eólica, bioenergía, geotérmica, pequeñas centrales hidroeléctricas y sistemas de almacenamiento de energía. Asimismo, se fomentará el desarrollo del hidrógeno verde y la producción de amoniaco y fertilizantes verdes. 

  1. Gas natural para la transición energética

Se desarrollará la infraestructura de soporte para el gas natural y su suministro, junto con el despliegue de tecnologías de captura, uso y almacenamiento de carbono (CCUS).

  1. Movilidad sustentable

Se impulsará el transporte masivo terrestre, el transporte fluvial y el uso de biocombustibles avanzados para el transporte marítimo y la aviación.

  1. Eficiencia energética

Se tomarán medidas para mejorar la eficiencia energética en todos los sectores económicos y para los usuarios finales.

  1. Intensificación del conocimiento y la industria nacional en el sector minero-energético

Se creará el Instituto Nacional de Transición Energética, dedicado a la investigación aplicada y el desarrollo industrial, con nodos regionales enfocados en energías renovables, eficiencia energética, despliegue de hidrógeno y minerales estratégicos (principalmente, cobre). 

Adicionalmente, se promoverá la industria nacional vinculada a la transición energética. Esto incluirá la creación de un marco general de cualificaciones específicas para la Transición Energética Justa, además de incentivar la prospección y extracción de minerales como cobre, litio, níquel, cobalto, manganeso y otros metales preciosos. 

Estos minerales se consideran estratégicos debido a su papel en el desarrollo de tecnologías asociadas a las energías renovables no convencionales, como baterías, turbinas eólicas y paneles solares.

Asimismo, se consolidará el Plan Nacional de Geología para la toma de decisiones de inversión en la extracción de recursos del subsuelo.

 El papel de las compañías de energías renovables en el camino hacia la TEJ

Las energías renovables tienen un papel central en la hoja de ruta de la Transición Energética Justa, dada su capacidad para ofrecer soluciones sostenibles y accesibles a los desafíos energéticos y climáticos del país. 

Las energías solar y eólica, por ejemplo, no solo reducen la dependencia de los combustibles fósiles y las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero; también promueven la soberanía energética y el acceso democrático a la energía, aspectos cruciales de las políticas de transición energética de Colombia.

Además, el costo de las tecnologías de energías renovables se ha reducido,  y aunque las no siempre son más baratas, la reducción de sus costos está haciendo que se posicionen como alternativas viables y atractivas frente a los combustibles fósiles. 

En este sentido, compañías como Atlas Renewable Energy, con su experiencia en el desarrollo, la construcción y la operación de proyectos de energía renovable en América Latina y Europa, se posicionan como fuentes de conocimiento especializado en el sector energético. 

Su participación en la transición energética de Colombia puede manifestarse de varias maneras:

  • Desarrollo de proyectos: con proyectos de energía renovable que aprovechen el vasto potencial del país, Atlas puede ayudar a incrementar la capacidad instalada de energías limpias en Colombia.
  • Transferencia de conocimiento y capacitación: gracias a su amplia experiencia internacional, la compañía no solo puede capacitar a la fuerza laboral colombiana en las competencias esenciales para la instalación y el manejo de las energías renovables. También puede mejorar los estándares de trabajo en todas las fases de los proyectos de energía renovable, y superar con creces las expectativas de las entidades reguladoras locales, como la Autoridad Nacional de Licencias Ambientales (ANLA) de Colombia.
  • Innovación y tecnología: la introducción de tecnologías innovadoras en eficiencia energética y generación de energía renovable puede acelerar la transición energética, reducir costos y aumentar su accesibilidad. Atlas Renewable Energy es pionera en la integración de baterías para almacenar energía. La compañía espera alcanzar 1 GW operativos al 2028 con una combinación de energía solar, eólica y, de forma innovadora, baterías. Este enfoque no solo destaca su liderazgo en la adopción de tecnologías avanzadas, sino que también refleja su compromiso con el desarrollo sostenible y la eficiencia energética. 
  • Colaboración con las comunidades locales: al trabajar de cerca con las comunidades donde opera, Atlas puede asegurar que los proyectos de energía renovable se desarrollen de manera sostenible y con beneficios compartidos. Un aspecto crucial de este enfoque es el relacionamiento temprano con las comunidades, incluso antes del inicio de la construcción de los proyectos, una práctica que Atlas lleva a cabo para integrarse armónicamente como un ‘nuevo vecino’. Este acercamiento anticipado permite a la empresa entender las dinámicas comunitarias y adquirir la licencia social necesaria para operar.

 Impacto de la hoja de ruta de la TEJ en las empresas colombianas: retos y oportunidades

La hoja de ruta de la Transición Energética Justa en Colombia y su futura implementación puede tener impacto positivo en las empresas del país. Estos son algunos de esos beneficios: 

  • Oportunidades de inversión en energías renovables

La expansión planificada de las energías renovables, como la solar, la eólica, la bioenergía, la geotérmica y las pequeñas centrales hidroeléctricas, abre oportunidades de inversión para empresas nacionales e internacionales en el sector energético y  promete transformar radicalmente la matriz energética del país.

A medida que aumenta la inversión en estos proyectos, la capacidad de generación de energía renovable se expande. Esto ayuda a diversificar la oferta energética y a reducir los costos asociados a su producción y consumo.

Este incremento en la capacidad y la consecuente reducción de costos abren las puertas para que más empresas, desde corporaciones grandes hasta negocios de mercado medio, puedan comprometerse a comprar energía renovable mediante Acuerdos de Compra de Energía (PPA, en inglés). Además, el flujo de inversiones hacia energías limpias fomenta un mercado energético más competitivo y sostenible que impulsa a Colombia hacia un futuro de bajas emisiones de carbono.

  • Fomento de la industria nacional

El plan incluye el fomento de la industria nacional relacionada con la transición energética, lo que puede impulsar el desarrollo de empresas locales en áreas como la fabricación de componentes, y la construcción y operación de proyectos renovables. Esto puede crear nuevas cadenas de valor y oportunidades de negocio para las empresas colombianas.

Adicionalmente, los proyectos de energía renovable activan significativamente la economía local, desde la construcción (que demanda mano de obra, materiales, servicios de alojamiento y alimentación), hasta la operación (que promueve la empleabilidad local mediante capacitaciones en mantenimiento y supervisión). 

Este dinamismo no solo enriquece las comunidades locales, sino también fortalece la licencia social, pues crea una base sólida para el desarrollo sostenible y la participación comunitaria.

  • Acceso a incentivos tributarios

El gobierno ofrece diversos incentivos tributarios para promover las energías renovables. Estos incentivos los regula la Ley 1715 de 2014 y se aplican a proyectos de energía solar, biomasa, eólica, geotérmica y otros tipos de energías renovables.

Algunos de estos incentivos son la deducción especial en el impuesto sobre la renta, la exención de IVA para la adquisición de bienes y servicios usados en proyectos de energía renovable, y la exención del gravamen arancelario para equipos, maquinaria y servicios nacionales o importados que se destinen a la producción y utilización de energía renovable. 

  • Desarrollo de infraestructura y redes inteligentes

La interconexión eléctrica nacional y regional, así como el despliegue de sistemas de almacenamiento de energía, pueden requerir que las empresas adapten sus operaciones y sistemas a las nuevas redes eléctricas inteligentes y a la integración de fuentes renovables de energía.

  • Desarrollo de nuevas tecnologías y conocimiento

La creación del Instituto Nacional de Transición Energética puede fomentar la investigación y el desarrollo de nuevas tecnologías relacionadas con las energías renovables, la eficiencia energética y el hidrógeno verde. Esto podría crear oportunidades para que las empresas colombianas entiendan, inviertan y participen en la transformación energética del país.

Conclusiones

Transitar hacia las energías limpias en Colombia es mucho más que cambiar la generación de energía: es una gran oportunidad para construir un futuro en el que el crecimiento económico y la protección del medioambiente vayan de la mano. 

Con la Transición Energética Justa, el país no solo busca reducir su dependencia de los combustibles fósiles y luchar contra el cambio climático: también traza un camino hacia un desarrollo más justo y sostenible. 

Este esfuerzo por cambiar la forma en la que se produce y se consume la energía implica una gran apuesta por la innovación y el crecimiento verde para asegurar que los colombianos tengan acceso a energía limpia y confiable. Es un reto grande, pero también una oportunidad única para que Colombia se posicione como líder en sostenibilidad en el escenario global.

La colaboración entre el gobierno, la industria, las comunidades y los individuos es clave para hacer realidad esta visión. Empresas con experiencia en energías renovables, como Atlas Renewable Energy, tienen un papel crucial, pues pueden aportar su conocimiento y capacidad para desarrollar proyectos que no solo son verdes, sino también económicamente viables. 

Mientras avanza en este camino, Colombia trabaja por un futuro más limpio, pero también impulsa su economía, crea empleos en nuevas industrias y asegura un ambiente más saludable para las próximas generaciones. 

Este artículo fue creado en colaboración con Castleberry Media. En Castleberry Media, estamos dedicados a la sostenibilidad ambiental. Al comprar Certificados de Carbono para la plantación de árboles, combatimos activamente la deforestación y compensamos nuestras emisiones de CO₂ tres veces más.

BESS del Desierto will be among the largest storage contracts in Chile and the first large-scale independent, standalone Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) and will have a storage capacity of 200 MW and hours.  

The agreement between Atlas Renewable Energy and COPEC, through its energy commercializer, EMOAC, considers storing energy to reinject approximately 3.6 TWh of sustainable energy into the grid at peak demand times for 15 years.

SANTIAGO, MARCH 21, 2024 – Atlas Renewable Energy, an international leader in clean energy generation, marks a new milestone in Chile after signing a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the use of a battery energy storage system with the Chilean company COPEC, through its energy commercializer EMOAC for 15 years.  

BESS del Desierto will be one of the largest energy storage projects in Chile and Latin America, with an installed capacity of 200 MW and four hours and a storage capacity of 800 MWh. The project will allow for the storage of energy during daylight hours and re-injection into the grid during high demand. The battery system will be installed next to Atlas’ Sol del Desierto solar plant, located in the commune of Maria Elena in the Antofagasta region.  

Under this agreement, BESS del Desierto will re-inject around 280 GWh per year to the grid, reducing curtailment of renewable energy generated during the day from solar sources and allowing greater stability and reliability of electricity supply in the region and the country. The project will have a storage capacity similar to 2,500 electric buses used in urban public transportation, equivalent to 500,000 km for these buses. 

BESS del Desierto will be implemented as a standalone battery. This means it is an independent and autonomous solution designed to store electrical energy, allowing the accumulation of energy generated during periods of greater energy supply, contributing to an efficient, continuous and reliable supply.  

“This deal marks our expansion into battery energy storage technology, establishing Atlas as an early adopter in Latin America. It demonstrates our commitment to innovative energy solutions and strengthens our position as a leader in sustainable technology for the region’s energy transition. The BESS del Desierto project is a key part of our strategy to enhance energy reliability in the region through advanced solar resource utilization and offer customized energy solutions to our clients,” said Carlos Barrera, CEO of Atlas Renewable Energy.  

“This agreement aims to address a fundamental issue at the national level, specifically the inappropriate disposal of NCRE. Our approach revolves around innovation, adaptation, and the integration of technology. We firmly believe that this represents a significant solution to the existing challenges within the system and marks another crucial stride towards our dedicated commitment to energy transition,” said Vannia Toro, general manager of EMOAC. 

In just a few years, Atlas Renewable Energy has developed projects in the region with a clear focus on the long-term, both with its commercial partners and at the level of supply to regulated customers. The company has contracted 5,243 MW of renewable energy installed capacity, which contributes to the region’s energy transformation toward cleaner energy sources, and it has now pioneered the implementation and use of battery energy storage systems in Chile after having signed two of the largest deals in the country and Latin America using this technology. The company expects to continue consolidating and expanding to other regions with innovative and sustainable energy projects.  
 

About Atlas Renewable Energy 

Atlas Renewable Energy is an international renewable energy generation company with about 5.6 GW of renewable energy assets, of which 2.7 GW are operational. Atlas has specialized in developing, financing, constructing, and operating renewable energy projects since early 2017. The company has an experienced team with a deep global power market and renewable energy expertise, with the longest track record in the renewable energy industry in Ibero-America. 

The company’s strategy is focused on helping large corporates make the energy transition to clean energy. Atlas Renewable Energy is widely recognized for its high standards in developing, constructing, and operating large-scale projects, as well as its deep and long-standing track record in ESG and sustainable development. 

For more details, please visit: https://es.atlasrenewableenergy.com  

About EMOAC 

Since 2012, EMOAC has been a national leader in Integral Energy Intelligence, providing its clients with energy marketing services and advice on energy projects, as well as monitoring and supply management technologies that enable the digitization of the value chain for its clients. In 2020 EMOAC became COPEC’s 100% renewable energy trader, reaffirming its commitment to sustainability. In 2023 EMOAC became the marketer with the most energy withdrawals registered in the system and with the largest number of free clients certified by the National Electric Coordinator for the use of 100% clean energy, thus reaffirming its commitment to efficiency and sustainability.  

 

  • With this PPA, Atlas will supply Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, with nearly 375 GWh/year for 15 years. 
  • Atlas will be developing, constructing and operating a new renewable energy project with an integrated battery energy storage system in Chile. 

SANTIAGO, MARCH 6, 2024 – Atlas Renewable Energy, an international renewable energy leader, has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Codelco, the state-owned Chilean mining company and the world’s largest copper producer, for the supply of 375 GWh of 24/7 energy per year, to be generated by a new renewable energy project in Chile, which will have an integrated battery energy storage system.  

The PPA, which incorporates advanced technology, including the use of batteries, was signed after Codelco held a public tender, to which Atlas was awarded and will start to supply clean, renewable energy in 2026, for the next 15 years.  

Atlas’ pioneering commitment in Chile and the region aims to enhance stability and reliability in electricity supply. This project, incorporating cutting-edge technology and solar energy expertise, marks a breakthrough in Chile, and the region’s energy supply contracts. It also strengthens Atlas’ ongoing efforts to deliver clean energy to the region’s major consumers with competitive solutions. 

“The formalization of this PPA with Codelco, a world-renowned institution in the world’s mining industry, underlines Atlas Renewable Energy’s commitment to develop innovative energy solutions tailored to our customers’ needs. With this project, we formally announce our entry into battery storage technology. We see this as an essential element to materially amplify the volume of renewable energy sources in the power system, and to offer our customers a broader suite of energy solutions. We are determined to be the partner of choice for large corporations looking to make the energy transition, and to do so we will endeavor to continue innovating to find ways to better serve our customer’s needs,” said Carlos Barrera, CEO of Atlas Renewable Energy. 

This agreement demonstrates Codelco’s trust in Atlas, leveraging its proven track record in providing clean energy to the mining sector. Atlas successfully constructed the Javiera Solar Plant in 2015, supplying 161 GWh annually to a significant Chilean mine, and the Lar do Sol Solar Plant in 2023, delivering 540 GWh a year to Anglo American in Brazil.  

About Atlas Renewable Energy 

Atlas Renewable Energy is an international renewable energy generation company that has developed and built about 5 GW of renewable energy assets, of which 2.7 GW are operational. Atlas has specialized in developing, financing, constructing, and operating renewable energy projects by implementing and designing solar, wind and energy storage systems solutions since early 2017. The company has an experienced team with a deep global power market and renewable energy expertise, with the longest track record in the renewable energy industry in Ibero-America.  

The company’s strategy is focused on helping large corporates make the energy transition to 100% clean energy. Atlas Renewable Energy is widely recognized for its high standards in developing, constructing, and operating large-scale projects, as well as its deep and long-standing track record in ESG and sustainable development.  

For more details, please visit: www.AtlasRenewableEnergy.com  

The Shangri-La solar project, initially developed by Rayo Energia and Black Orchid Solar, will be Atlas Renewable Energy’s first solar project in Colombia, with an installed capacity of 201 MWp contributing to its goal of reaching 1 GW of contracted projects in the Andean country.  

BOGOTA, Feb. 22, 2024 – Atlas Renewable Energy, a leading international provider of renewable energy solutions for large consumers, has acquired its first solar project in Colombia, the Shangri-La project, located in the Department of Tolima. The project will generate approximately 403.7 GWh per year and will supply clean energy through a power purchase agreement (PPA) that Atlas has entered into with a leading Colombian company dedicated to the commercialization of this essential public service. Atlas recently entered the project into the reliability charge auction organized by the National Government and attained an award, contributing to the country’s overall installed capacity. 

Once the project comes into operation at the end of 2025, it will be consolidated as one of the largest solar plants in Colombia and the largest solar asset in operation in Tolima. Its energy generation will be equivalent to supplying more than 214 thousand Colombian families with clean and renewable energy annually and will avoid close to 162 thousand tons of CO2 per year. 

“The recent acquisition of the Shangri-La solar project marks an important milestone in our strategic expansion in the Colombian energy market, contributing 201 MWp to our ambitious 1 GW target,” said Ruben Borja, Country Manager of Atlas Renewable Energy in Colombia. “Our commitment to strong in-house development, coupled with a strategic focus on M&A opportunities such as this one, is critical to nurturing our project pipeline and achieving our business objectives. At the same time, we will advance the consolidation of new projects in mature stages of development, which will contribute to closing gaps in the current energy supply-demand environment and play a key role in fostering a just and sustainable energy transition.” 

“We are very pleased and proud to have successfully developed this project, together with Black Orchid Solar, knowing the importance it will have for Colombia’s energy transition. Moreover, it strengthens Rayo’s commitment to Colombia and positions us for our next stage of business development, focusing on providing energy services for Colombian industrial clients,” said Andres Salas, CEO and founder of Rayo.  

Atlas will also implement its proven sustainability strategy, consistently applied in its projects throughout Latin America, to promote sustainable living and drive social and environmental programs. By implementing the Shangri-La solar project, the company aims to promote local employment, incentivize opportunities in the community during construction, and implement social and environmental initiatives, such as Atlas’ flagship “We are part of the same energy” program, which will train community groups in technical skills and mobilize local contractors to be included in its hiring process during construction. The project also plans to launch EdMundo, a social program dedicated to training young students from the local community in STEM and entrepreneurship to empower them to play a central role in their communities. 

About Atlas Renewable Energy 

Atlas Renewable Energy is an international renewable energy generation company that has developed and built about 5 GW of renewable energy assets, of which 2.7 GW are operational. Atlas has specialized in developing, financing, constructing, and operating renewable energy projects by implementing and designing solar, wind and energy storage systems solutions since early 2017. The company has an experienced team with a deep global power market and renewable energy expertise, with the longest track record in the renewable energy industry in Ibero-America. 

The company’s strategy is focused on helping large corporates make the energy transition to 100% clean energy. Atlas Renewable Energy is widely recognized for its high standards in developing, constructing, and operating large-scale projects, as well as its deep and long-standing track record in ESG and sustainable development. 

For more details, please visit: www.AtlasRenewableEnergy.com  

With this partnership, Votorantim Cimentos intends to increase renewable energy consumption in Brazil to 75%, strengthening its decarbonization strategy and increasing its competitiveness.

SAO PAULO, JAN. 15, 2024 – Atlas Renewable Energy, an international leader in providing renewable energy solutions for corporations, and Votorantim Cimentos, a construction materials and sustainable solutions company, have signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to supply and purchase, respectively, 100 MW of solar energy for the next 15 years. The solar energy provided through this agreement will support the energy needs of Votorantim Cimentos’ production units and distribution centers located in the South, Southeast, and Midwest regions of Brazil.

With the new partnership, the project will be responsible for around a third of Votorantim Cimentos’ energy consumption in the country, equivalent to supplying energy to 424,000 homes. Through the self-production PPA, the company is advancing its decarbonization strategy, which includes renewable energy as one of its strategic pillars.

The new energy generation will come from Atlas’ Luiz Carlos Solar Project, located in the municipality of Paracatu, Minas Gerais, which will have an installed capacity of 787 MWp, of which almost two-thirds (470 MWp) will be destined for Votorantim Cimentos.

“This partnership with Votorantim Cimentos confirms Atlas’ repeated ability to partner with blue chip companies of Latin America’s industrial sector to help them make the energy transition. It also contributes to building Brazil’s sustainable production supply chain powered by clean energy. At the same time, we are proud that our project, Luiz Carlos, will promote Atlas’ best-in-class ESG programs targeting true sustainable development,” said Carlos Barrera, CEO of Atlas Renewable Energy. 

The project is also part of Votorantim Cimentos’ investment portfolio to increase its structural competitiveness, ensuring a better long-term position and sustainable growth.

“This project is an important step in our decarbonization journey and is aligned with Votorantim Cimentos’ 2030 Sustainability Commitments. In all the regions where we operate, our focus is to intensify efficiency and incorporate the use of renewable energy, increasing the volume of self-produced clean energy we consume and, consequently, our competitiveness, generating benefits for society and the planet,” says Álvaro Lorenz, Global Sustainability Director at Votorantim Cimentos.

Luiz Carlos Solar Project

The Luiz Carlos solar project will be located in Paracatu, Minas Gerais, a municipality that is already home to other Atlas solar projects, which will allow the company to continue investing in the development of the region, in environmental and social terms, with an emphasis on hiring local labor.

With the start of construction, Atlas will actively support robust environmental, social, and governance (ESG) programs for sustainable development. Atlas’ flagship program, “We are all part of the same energy,” during the construction of the Boa Sorte Solar Project, located in the same municipality, trained over 300 women from surrounding towns to contribute to the construction of the solar plants. Additionally, Atlas’s award-winning Ed-Mundo program will also be implemented. The program is designed to educate young students from underrepresented communities in programming, IT, robotics and entrepreneurship and empower them to play a central role in social transformation, creating job opportunities and additional sources of income for their communities and families.

INVESTMENTS IN DECARBONIZATION 

Votorantim Cimentos’ goal is to have 45% of the energy consumed globally come from renewable sources by 2030. With this new project, 75% of the energy consumed by the company in Brazil will come from clean sources.

Since its foundation, Votorantim Cimentos has always been concerned with generating its own energy for the production of its plants. In the state of Bahia, the company operates the concession for the 160-megawatt Pedra do Cavalo Hydroelectric Plant, as well as owning four Small Hydroelectric Plants (SHPs) in other locations and participating in the Machadinho Hydroelectric Plant (HPP) consortium in southern Brazil. In 2022, it also signed an agreement with Auren to build a wind farm in the northeast of Brazil, with a capacity of 220 megawatts, which went into operation in early 2023, adding 55 average MW of renewable energy to its portfolio.

The conclusion of the agreement still depends on the usual conditions for operations of this nature, including the approval of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE).

About Atlas Renewable Energy

Atlas Renewable Energy is an international renewable energy generation company that has developed and built about 5.2 GW of renewable energy assets, of which 2.3 GW are operational. Atlas has specialized in developing, financing, constructing, and operating renewable energy projects since early 2017. The company has an experienced team with a deep global power market and renewable energy expertise, with the longest track record in the renewable energy industry in Ibero-America.

The company’s strategy is focused on helping large corporates make the energy transition to 100% clean energy. Atlas Renewable Energy is widely recognized for its high standards in developing, constructing, and operating large-scale projects, as well as its deep and long-standing track record in ESG and sustainable development.

 For more details, please visit: https://es.atlasrenewableenergy.com

About Votorantim Cimentos   

Votorantim Cimentos is a construction materials and sustainable solutions company with more than 13,000 employees. The portfolio of construction materials goes beyond cement and includes concrete, mortar and aggregates. The company also operates in the areas of agricultural inputs, waste management and co-processing. Votorantim Cimentos units are strategically close to the most important growing consumer markets and are present in ten countries in addition to Brazil: Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, Spain, the United States, Luxembourg, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and Uruguay. More information at www.votorantimcimentos.com.br  

The USD 447.8 million loan, the largest ever renewable energy USD loan by BNDES, will help Atlas Renewable Energy build the Vista Alegre Solar Plant.

SAO PAULO, NOV. 29, 2023 – Atlas Renewable Energy, international developer and one of the largest and fastest-growing independent power producers (IPP) in Latin America, secured a USD447.8 million (equivalent to R$2,18 billion) loan from the Brazilian development bank (BNDES), the bank’s largest renewable energy US Dollar loan to date, to build the Vista Alegre Solar Plant. With an installed capacity of 902 MWp, equivalent to 768 MWac, the plant will produce an average of 200 MW or 2TWh annually, preventing 2.4 million tons of CO2 during its 20-year operation – equivalent to producing enough power to supply over 3 million people.

Vista Alegre, the largest solar project to be built in a single phase in Brazil, will supply electricity to Albras for 21 years through a power purchase agreement (PPA). The financing marks the second collaboration between the BNDES and Atlas, following the successful financing of the Boa Sorte Solar Power Plant (438 MWp), another joint venture with Albras, which will also supply clean energy for aluminum production. Vista Alegre allows Atlas to continue positioning itself as a leader in US dollar PPAs for large energy consumers in Brazil. Construction began in 2023 and the project is set to start supplying clean energy to Albras by 2025.

“We are incredibly proud of this project that becomes an instant symbol in Brazil and Latin America of the significant progress that can be made in advancing the energy transition with the help of local financing partners. We would like to thank BNDES for their support and trust in offering Atlas Renewable Energy the largest-ever US Dollar loan they have ever granted for a renewable energy project. We are equally proud that Vista Alegre will incorporate the best ESG practices of the industry, incorporating powerful social programs that advocate for, support and empower the local community,” said Carlos Barrera, CEO of Atlas Renewable Energy.

The solar project, which will generate more than 2,500 jobs during its construction phase, will continue to promote best-in-class ESG practices through strong project execution to provide long-term benefits to the surrounding communities during the construction and operation phases. Atlas will implement its flagship social program, ‘We are all part of the same energy,’ to promote diversity and inclusion in the construction of its renewable energy projects by upskilling local women to increase their participation to at least 15%. Atlas will also implement its award-winning Ed-Mundo program, which aims to train young students in programming, IT, robotics and entrepreneurship in underprivileged communities. The program enables students to become protagonists of social transformation by generating work opportunities and other sources of income for their communities.

About Atlas Renewable Energy

Atlas Renewable Energy is an international renewable energy generation company with over 4 GW of contracted projects, of which 2.2 GW are operational. Atlas has specialized in developing, financing, constructing, and operating renewable energy projects since early 2017. The company has an experienced team with a deep global power market and renewable energy expertise, with the longest track record in the renewable energy industry in Ibero-America.

The company’s strategy is focused on helping large corporates make the energy transition to 100% clean energy. Atlas Renewable Energy is widely recognized for its high standards in developing, constructing, and operating large-scale projects, as well as its deep and long-standing track record in ESG and sustainable development.

For more details, please visit: https://es.atlasrenewableenergy.com

  • The company implemented the solar grazing technique as a pilot plan in a limited area where new technologies and initiatives of the Quilapilun photovoltaic plant, located in the Metropolitan Region of Chile, are tested, generating shared value and promoting the development of a circular economy.
  • This technique will allow controlling the growth of grass in a natural way, reducing the use of machinery for its maintenance and, at the same time, will support the nutrition of local livestock, which has seen its feed reduced due to the country’s historic drought.

Santiago, Oct. 15, 2023 – Quilapilun, the first large-scale solar power plant located in Chile’s Metropolitan Region, owned by Atlas Renewable Energy, has implemented a pilot program with the solar grazing technique to expand its contribution to the sustainable development of the territory, since the activity has been affected in the area due to the water shortage that is being experienced in Chile. 

In the context of the great drought affecting the country, the company identified an important reserve of vegetation and grass in an area of the photovoltaic park, and this is how the idea of supporting the community near Quilapilun by helping sheep grazing arose. The initiative is being developed in an area of 80 hectares, in a fenced sector separated from the rest of the project.

By means of “solar grazing” a sustainable solution that Atlas had already implemented previously in plants in Uruguay, the flock of twenty sheep is fed daily in this area, taking advantage of the grass and vegetation available. This action undoubtedly generates shared value between the community and the company, providing food for the animals and generating a natural method of vegetation control, contributing to the maintenance processes of this area in the solar plant.

To have control and security of the sheep, the pilot plan is being carried out in a remote area of the plant where Atlas carries out innovation and development activities to test initiatives that will later be used in its projects since it is a fenced area, which allows to minimize vehicle traffic. It is estimated that the project will remain active until December of this year as long as the availability of the turf permits. At the end of the project, the continuity of this pilot plan will be evaluated to continue generating shared value and promoting the development of the circular economy.

About Atlas Renewable Energy

Atlas Renewable Energy is an international 100% renewable energy generation company that develops, builds, finances and operates clean energy projects in Latin America. It has more than 4 GW of contracted projects, of which 2.2 GW are currently in operation, making it one of the largest solar power producers in the region.

It currently has three large-scale solar projects in Chile. Javiera, located in the Atacama Region, generates 161 GWh yearly. Quilapilun, located in the Metropolitan Region, generates 243 GWh yearly, and Sol del Desierto, located in the Antofagasta Region, generates 714 GWh yearly. The company is developing its first wind portfolio in south Chile (ALPACA), adding another 417 MW of clean energy for Chile.

In each project, the company seeks to be an ally in the territories where they intend to develop through an early relationship with the communities, promoting dialogue, participation and social investment. In addition, the company is committed to promoting international best practices in terms of environmental care and supporting communities to create shared value through capacity building and creating programs that support community development.

For more information about Atlas Renewable Energy, visit: www.AtlasRenewableEnergy.com

Atlas’ social initiative to promote STEM education in rural communities in Brazil, Ed-Mundo, has been recognized by IJGlobal’s ESG Awards and GRI Infra Awards for the program’s commitment to community development.

SAO PAULO, NOV. 9, 2023 – Atlas Renewable Energy, an international developer and one of the largest and fastest-growing independent power producers (IPP) in Latin America, was awarded two major industry awards for its implementation of the Ed-Mundo social program. The program was awarded GRI Infra’s Community Award for Development of Communities and IJGlobal’s ESG Social Award.

The GRI Infra Awards, in its second edition in Brazil, highlighted projects aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, focusing on excellence, innovation and positive social and environmental impact. Simultaneously,  IJGlobal’s ESG Social Award, now in its third year, acknowledged organizations, transactions and individuals who excelled in environmental, social and governance aspects. Judges from IJGlobal commended Atlas for its innovative approach to renewable energy financing, emphasizing its significant positive contributions to local communities, the environment and the clean energy transition in Latin America.

The Ed-Mundo program allows students to become protagonists in social transformation and generate work and income for the community by learning programming, IT, robotics and entrepreneurship. Five classes have already been formed, with 64 students enrolled and an attendance rate of over 75%. Out of all the students, 49% are girls seeking opportunities in technology careers. The methodologies used in the project make it possible to set up qualified programming centers in public schools, developing the capacity for entrepreneurship in the IT sector and preparing young people for this market.

“This recognition confirms that we are on the right track when we develop projects which aim to leave a social legacy for the communities around our operations. Ed-Mundo isn’t just about training. It’s a tool capable of expanding young people’s horizons, of showing them paths they didn’t yet know about,” said Fernanda Abreu, Head of ESG at Atlas Renewable Energy.

Atlas Renewable Energy is committed to creating a brighter and more just future by equipping young people with the tools they need to thrive in the modern world.

About Atlas Renewable Energy

Atlas Renewable Energy is an international renewable energy generation company with over 4 GW of contracted projects, of which 2.2 GW are operational. Atlas has specialized in developing, financing, constructing, and operating renewable energy projects since early 2017. The company has an experienced team with a deep global power market and renewable energy expertise, with the longest track record in the renewable energy industry in Ibero-America.

The company’s strategy is focused on helping large corporates make the energy transition to 100% clean energy. Atlas Renewable Energy is widely recognized for its high standards in developing, constructing, and operating large-scale projects, as well as its deep and long-standing track record in ESG and sustainable development.

For more details, please visit: https://es.atlasrenewableenergy.com/

Atlas reaches agreement to sell five operating solar plants to Engie Brasil Energia while significantly increasing its investments as part of its growth strategy in the country.

Sao Paulo, October 30, 2023 – As part of its focused growth strategy in Brazil, Atlas Renewable Energy, a leading renewable energy company in Latin America, reached an important milestone through a portfolio rotation initiatives by agreeing to the sale of a portfolio of operating assets with Engie Brasil Energia Complementares Participações, a company that is part of the Engie Group in Brazil. The operating portfolio includes solar power assets, namely, Juazeiro, Sao Pedro, Sol do Futuro, Sertao Solar, and Lar do Sol, with a combined installed capacity of 545 MW and located across the states of Bahia, Ceara and Minas Gerais.

With the R$ 3.5 billion transaction, the company will look to reinvest in developing new renewable projects in the country for a diversified group of customers under innovative structures, strengthening Atlas’ long-term positioning in the region. After the transaction, Atlas will still hold a portfolio of more than 1.8 GW of installed capacity in Brazil. This includes two photovoltaic parks under construction in the state of Minas Gerais, including the largest solar plant in Latin America, and two other projects already in operation. In addition, the company has a portfolio of more than 15 GW of sustainable energy, including solar and wind, in various stages of development in Brazil.

“Atlas is growing significantly in Brazil, and this transaction will allow us to develop more projects in the country. The country continues to be one of Atlas’ core markets, with a continued focus on developing customized renewable energy solutions for customers across different sectors of the national economy,” says Fabio Bortoluzo, country manager of Atlas Renewable Energy in Brazil.

The transaction’s closing is subject to the satisfaction of certain precedent conditions negotiated between the parties, including the approval of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE, for its acronym in Portuguese), among other customary conditions for transactions of this nature.

About Atlas Renewable Energy 

Atlas Renewable Energy is an international renewable energy generation company that has developed and built over 4 GW of contracted projects, of which 2.2 GW are operational. Atlas has specialized in developing, financing, constructing, and operating renewable energy projects throughout the Americas since early 2017. The company includes an experienced team with a deep global power market and renewable energy expertise, with the longest track record in the renewable energy industry in the Americas and Europe. 

The company’s strategy is focused on helping large corporates make the energy transition to 100% clean energy. Atlas Renewable Energy is widely recognized for its high standards in the development, construction, and operation of large-scale projects, as well as a deep and long-standing track record in ESG and sustainable development. For more information, visit: www.AtlasRenewableEnergy.com

With the operation of these two solar plants, which are supplying Unipar and Anglo American with clean energy, Atlas ranks among Brazil’s largest solar generation companies. 

SAO PAULO, SEPT. 27, 2023 – Atlas Renewable Energy, an international leader in renewable energy generation, announced that its solar plants Lar do Sol and Casablanca in Pirapora, Minas Gerais, Brazil, are fully operational and supplying clean power to Unipar and Anglo American, respectively. Together, these projects have an installed capacity of nearly 600 MWp and will generate over 1.2 GWh of clean energy per year. 

The Lar do Sol solar plant serves Unipar, a leader in the production of chlorine and soda and the second-largest PVC producer in South America. The Casablanca solar plant supplies energy through a PPA with Anglo American, a global mining company, that is celebrating its 50th anniversary in Brazil this year and currently has iron ore and nickel operations in the country.   

“By opting for PPAs, companies such as Unipar and Anglo American demonstrate a long-term commitment to sustainability. In addition to the environmental factor, investment in renewable energies brings commercial competitiveness to the business and has a positive impact on the brands,” said Luis Pita, General Manager for Atlas Renewable Energy in Brazil. 

ABOUT LAR DO SOL  SOLAR PLANT 

Aligned with its sustainability goals, Unipar has committed to powering 80% of its operations in Brazil through self-production renewable energy projects by 2024. Lar do Sol is an example of this commitment, which operates based on a 19-year PPA signed between Atlas and Unipar in 2021. 

With 239 MWp of installed capacity and generating 540 GWh/year, Lar do Sol supplies energy to Unipar’s Cubatão plant, which produces the chlorine used to treat the water that supplies more than 60 million people.   

Banco do Nordeste do Brasil (BNB) provided a R$ 407 million loan to fund the project.  

ABOUT CASABLANCA  SOLAR PLANT 

The 15-year PPA signed between Atlas and Anglo American is in line with the mining company’s Sustainable Mining Plan, which, among several goals and objectives, aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions in all its operations by 2040. The signing of this contract has helped Anglo American achieve a 100% renewable electricity matrix in its projects in Brazil – a milestone the company recently reached. 

With more than 800,000 bifacial photovoltaic modules, Casablanca has an installed capacity of 359 MWp, generating 820 GWh/year, which will avoid 61,500 tons of CO² emissions a year.  

Atlas financed this project with a USD 150 million loan it obtained from IDB Invest in 2021. 

ESG   

During the construction of the Lar do Sol and Casablanca solar plants, significant investments were made in socio-environmental initiatives aimed at fostering local development. “We are all part of the same energy”, Atlas’ flagship program, provided education to more than 334 local women on various aspects such as solar panel mounting, electrical wiring, and masonry. Over 75% of the participants were employed by Atlas’ contractors during the construction of these two projects.  

About Atlas Renewable Energy  

Atlas Renewable Energy is an international renewable energy generation company with over 4 GW of contracted projects, of which 2.2 GW are operational. Atlas specializes in developing, financing, constructing, and operating renewable energy projects throughout the Americas since early 2017. The company includes an experienced team with a deep global power market and renewable energy expertise, with the longest track record in the renewable energy industry in the Americas and Europe.  

The company’s strategy is focused on helping large corporates make the energy transition to 100% clean energy. Atlas Renewable Energy is widely recognized for its high standards in the development, construction, and operation of large-scale projects, as well as a deep and long-standing track record in ESG and sustainable development. For more information, visit: www.AtlasRenewableEnergy.com