A leading oil company has pledged U$S 100 million to build two solar farms in the Argentine province of Mendoza, it was reported this week.
Aconcagua Energía (AE) has already launched the first bidding process for the first park, to be located near the Luján de Cuyo refinery and, when completed, will have 150,000 panels and will generate the equivalent of energy to supply more than 58,000 households.
The new undertakings will reduce the carbon footprint and mark Aconcagua Energía's expansion toward the electricity business through the construction of two photovoltaic parks with an initial disbursement of US$ 25 million and a total of more than US$ 100 million, at a rate of about one dollar per Megawatt (MWh) of production. The other solar park will be in Malargüe.
AE will reduce its carbon footprint by 23,000 tons, making it a positive impact company, it was explained. Our main objective is to mitigate carbon emissions and become a green energy company, said AE vice-president and CFO Javier Basso. He also explained that the company seeks to make most of its purchases from suppliers in the area of influence. Thus, close to 60% of its suppliers in the Cuyo Basin -the company also has assets in Río Negro- are from Mendoza.
The company has already made the first call for bids for the movement of soil and the closing of the first park that will be located near the Luján de Cuyo refinery and in bidders might be announced by December, AE said.
Construction is planned on a 200-hectare site and will be divided into three phases. The first one, with about 50,000 solar panels, will have a power of 20 MWh; which is tantamount to 12,941 household supplies. It is expected to be completed in 18 to 24 months.
The second phase will produce a total of 45 MWh and, upon completion, will produce 90 MWh of power, which is equal to 58,235 households supplied. The Luján de Cuyo park will have 150,000 panels.
AE also announced that the construction of the Malargüe solar farm will start after the completion of the Luján project. It will produce 17 MWh (16,176 households).
AE's Diego Trabucco said the new venture seeks to create synergy with the other two lines of business -Oil extraction and Logistics services- due to the fact that there will be a saving of more than 25 dollars per Mega compared to the traditional system.
Aconcagua Energía operates in the oil and gas industry, oil services, and power generation in Mendoza and Río Negro. It is expected to reach 1 million barrels of oil by the end of 2022.