Clean Energy Corridor of Central America

The Clean Energy Corridor of Central America (CECCA) was initiated to promote the accelerated development and cross-border trade of renewable power in Central America. The CECCA initiative aims to facilitate the integration of larger shares of renewables in the regional transmission network (SIEPAC). The initiative has been developed in line with strategic plans for the regional electricity market, national and regional energy policies and climate change strategies, and is based on a regional stakeholder consultative process that has led to a better understanding of specific country needs and priorities. The resulting CECCA Strategy document was endorsed by the Energy Ministers of the region in December 2015. During this biennium (2016–2017), the CECCA’s work has focused on improving enabling conditions both at the technical and regulatory levels for the reliable integration of renewables. The regulatory component focuses on strengthening policy and regulatory frameworks, while the technical component addresses key issues related to grid stability, as well as standards and best practices to improve management in national and regional control rooms.

Technical component: The reliable integration of renewables in national and regional grid systems poses new challenges compared with traditional power generation systems. The variable renewable energy (VRE) characteristics of solar and wind differ according to location and environment and are affected by weather conditions, leading to uncertainty in forecasting, voltage control issues due to wind and solar variability, and increasing curtailment resulting from high penetrations. This project will be implemented in the context of the regional system operator and partners (regional operator [EOR], regional electricity market [MER], etc.), with Panama as a national pilot country, and in close cooperation with stakeholders (ETESA, TSO, among others).

Regulatory component: This project will evaluate the conditions for renewable integration via power purchase agreements (PPAs) in Panama, as a national pilot project, and explore means to improve them by accommodating the requirements of renewable energy technologies

PPAs commonly incorporate details regarding network infrastructure cost liabilities; system balancing costs; forecast errors; permits and other factors; while price development risks are often covered by some form of price indexation.

Resource assessment: Mapping allows for pre-feasibility assessments of solar and wind opportunities in Central America, for both grid-connected and off-grid systems, by identifying high resource potential areas suitable for solar PV and wind power development.

Maps are available here Investment Opportunities in Latin America (Global Atlas)