Chile: Changes in Electric Power Services Law seeks to protect non-conventional renewable energy developers 

Legislative changes in Chile have widened protections for the development of non-conventional renewable energy (“NCRE”) projects on sites subject to mining concessions. Historically, the privileged position of the mining industry in Chile and the ease with which a person could purchase a mining concession over a plot of land has meant that many viable sites for NCRE in Chile are subject to a mining concession licence. Concession-holders routinely take advantage of injunctive procedures to suspend the development of NCRE projects over land under concession, regardless of whether they actually carry out or intend to carry out mining operations on that land, with the objective of leveraging exorbitant compensation from developers. The delays and costs involved in overturning such an injunction can make many NCRE projects costly and less viable. The change in the law now strongly limits the rights of a mining concession-holder where it is unable to prove that before the development of a NCRE project over the land, it was going to develop mining operations. The law aims to reduce the risks of NCRE project development in Chile by providing certainty for developers. 

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Mexico: Solar and wind developers form majority of bidders in Mexico’s first electricity auction 

On 31 March 2016 Mexico will hold its first electric power generation auction since reforms passed in 2014 opened up the Mexican electricity sector to private investment and set renewable energy targets of 25% of all power generated by 2018 and 60% by 2050. The auction will see 500MW of power generation, 6.3 TWh of energy and 6.3 million clean energy certificate up for auction to cover the Mexican state utility company CFE’s clean energy needs. Successful developers will be able to sell the electricity generated to CFE. 

Mexico’s national energy control center, Cenace, has confirmed that 52% of the 103 bidders so far are solar project developers whilst 46% are wind farm developers. 

Argentina: San Juan I solar plant expansion to be ready in October 2016 

In San Juan province in Argentina, the project to expand San Juan I solar plant is due to be finished in October 2016, according to Victor Dona, head of EPSE, the district's power supply company. 484KW of extra capacity will be added to the 1,200KW the facility is producing at the moment. The project will require around ARS 5mn (EUR 298,095.63 USD 331,840.05). It is part of a wider initiative called San Juan Solar Plan that also involves the installation of a solar panels factory in Pocito. The terms and conditions for the tender for the expansion of the solar plant are available for consultation until 7 March 2016. The proposals will be disclosed on 8 March 2016.