Fredy Zuleta, GEB’s General Manager of Transmission, spoke about the importance of this project for the country.
The Colectora project will be key to transport the energy produced in the wind and solar farms of Alta Guajira to the National Interconnected System (STN), Valora Analitik reported.
The expert explained that the project is vital to meet the government’s goal of having more than 12% of the energy matrix from unconventional renewables.
“This is the most relevant and largest capacity project connecting generation from the upper Guajira and will enable the transformation of the energy matrix in the country,” Zuleta said.
Zuleta said that the project is in the licensing phase in its two lines.
“Our biggest challenge is working with the 224 communities in the prior consultation process. We need coordination with all stakeholders to move forward with this important project,” Zuleta said.
In addition, the GEB is developing 10 projects awarded in UPME calls in the National Transmission System (STN) and the Regional Transmission System (STR).
“We have some projects awarded between 2012 and 2015 that have not come into operation. These delays are due to factors such as the time associated with obtaining environmental licenses, the processes of negotiation and imposition of easements, prior consultations, the lack of coordination between Land Management Plans (POTs) and the projects of national interest, among others,” Zuleta said.
He said that the company put into operation other projects such as La Loma 500kV Substation, Armenia 230kV, Bolívar-Cartagena 230kV and San Fernando 230kV Connection, which strengthen the system for the provision of a better public service.
“We encourage permanent dialogue with communities, entities, institutions, national and local governments and with all stakeholders in the development of our activities,” Zuleta said.
The expert highlighted that the government is giving the normative and regulatory signals to encourage the energy transition.
“The challenge is to convince citizens and remote communities of the impacts of climate change and that unconventional energies can guarantee the welfare and future of the country,” Zuleta said.
Zuleta said that prior consultations are a vital factor in the project licensing phase.
“Several projects of national interest have suffered changes in their timeline due to this issue and therefore it is essential to put the necessary controls in place to prevent this risk from continuing to materialize,” Zuleta said.
Bottom-Line: The issue of prior consultations needs urgent attention from the government, but authorities have not wanted to pronounce themselves on this issue.
Companies and investors keep sending messages to the government to solve this problem, but authorities seem not to want to listen…
It is hard to convince someone without running water, that lacks electricity or gas in their home, whose children have inadequate schooling and whose family lacks access to health care that they should give their permission to a project so that urban dwellers (who already have all these things) can have clean energy.