Inspenet, October 12, 2023.
Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) announced that it is beginning the dismantling process of the Jepírachi wind farm in La Guajira . This park (the first of its kind in Colombia) had begun a process last July to be handed over to the Wayúu community.
Although EPM had previously announced that it was evaluating the possibility of repowering the aforementioned park, in a statement the company reported that it has disconnected the plant from the National Interconnected System (SIN) and that the environmental authorities in the department of La Guajira already have a decommissioning plan pending approval.
EPM explains the reason for the dismantling
“EPM, responsible for compliance with the resolutions of the Energy and Gas Regulation Commission (Creg) and the requirements of national environmental regulations, must complete the operation of the Jepírachi wind farm and begin the steps to carry out its dismantling, given that The regulations prevent it from meeting the technical conditions of the National Interconnected System to replace the current wind turbines with new ones of the latest technology.“, expressed the general manager of Public Companies of Medellín, Jorge Andrés Carrillo.
Following the company’s report, after evaluating the situation of the plant’s wind turbines, it has been determined that it is not feasible to restore them and extend their useful life .
It is important to remember that the decision to dismantle this wind farm, which was established on December 21, 2003, was known at the beginning of 2020, when the company’s financial projections were revealed that estimated a cost of $8,727 million for said process.
After operating for two decades, the completion of the wind farm was due to an update of the technical requirements by the Energy and Gas Regulation Commission (Creg) in 2019, which ruled that this type of installation must adapt to the new standards.
Although this update pointed to an imminent closure of the park, EPM agreed with the national government that it could continue operating until this year.
Despite this evaluation, last July, the former mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quintero, and the former Minister of Mines and Energy, Irene Vélez, had mentioned that the area would be delivered to the Wayúu community as a measure to address the emergency situation that the National Government had declared in the department of La Guajira, although this declaration was revoked by the Constitutional Court earlier this month.
Last July, with 13 of its 15 wind turbines still in operation, EPM stated that it was evaluating the possibility of extending the useful life of the wind farm to fulfill that promise. However, it did not provide a detailed delivery plan or specify the costs and timeline for the repowering.
According to the company, the dismantling process is expected to last between 9 months and a year.
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