Javier Franco July 25 2022 Will proposed bidding regime help development of offshore wind farms? Franco & Abogados Asociados | Energy & Natural Resources - Colombia Javier Franco Energy & Natural Resources The National Maritime Authority (DIMAR) recently published a proposed regulatory framework for the development of offshore wind farms. Similar to other countries, Colombia is trying to diversify its energy sources. The implementation of a clear set of rules for this endeavour, therefore, is essential.In 2020, the DIMAR gave pre-feasibility approval to a wind farm project – Vientos Alisios (trade winds). Therefore, the interested party was requested to provide DIMAR with documentation within an 18-month deadline so that the project could advance to its next stage under the regulation currently in force.While other projects could happen in the future, a regulatory regime that could provide more certainty to local and foreign investors and allow a bidding process to exist for the purpose is still at a developmental stage.The new proposed framework establishes six different stages of the competitive bidding process:publication of the conditions of the bidding process;authorisation;nomination of areas for offshore wind farm development;offer submission;offer evaluation and selection of the successful bidder; andformalisation of the contract.This framework will initially allow for a temporary occupation permit in given areas for the respective investors. Such permits can later be converted into maritime concessions to construct, operate and dismantle the project.The new proposed resolution is intended to replace Resolution 794 of 2020, which originally contained technical criteria and procedures for maritime concessions in projects related to the development and/or construction of renewable energy infrastructure projects.On this basis, the proposed regulatory framework intends to make it possible for the bidding process to be carried out with more than one interested bidder. This builds on a recommendation that was made in the Offshore Wind Roadmap for Colombia, which found that there was no regulatory framework in place for a competitive bidding process.(1)On the other hand, there is still discussion as to what other aspects should be regulated by the new proposed regime. For instance, there are many questions as to whether the traditional categories of "vessel" and "naval artefact" are applicable to floating wind turbines and the would be implications.It appears that Colombia still has several challenges to overcome as it diversifies its energy sources, which should be aided by improving various aspects of the proposed regulatory framework.For further information on this topic please contact Javier Franco at Franco & Abogados Asociados by telephone (+57 1703 5633) or email ([email protected]). The Franco & Abogados Asociados website can be accessed at www.francoabogados.com.co.Endnotes (1) The Renewables consulting Group & ERM, Hoja de ruta para el despliegue de la energía eólica costa afuera en Colombia, p.176.