Ecuador, Colombia Peru and Bolivia approve plan to interconnect their electrical grids

Dec 14, 2023 | 0 comments

The Andean Community Commission (CAN), made up of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, is moving forward with a plan to interconnect their respective electrical grids. The project takes on new urgency as electric providers in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia have been forced to impose electrical blackouts in recent months due severe drought.

Hydroelectric generation plants in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia have seen their capacity reduced in recent month by a prolonged drought.

Ecuador, Colombia and Peru already have limited links between their electric grids, but these will be expanded under terms of the for the Regional Andean Electricity Market, according to the CAN agreement.

“This plan does not create a fully unified electrical market but extends the interconnections for the purpose of responding to emergencies,” says Carlos Jefferson, spokesman for the Colombia Ministry of Energy and Utilities. “We are currently in such an emergency. The extended drought we are experiencing throughout the region has handicapped hydroelectric generation output and forced power rationing in many areas. With the El Niño weather system strengthening, we are facing another two to three months of drought.”

Jefferson adds: “Unfortunately, the plan just approved by CAN is not yet in place and not available to help in the current crisis.”

According to CAN, electrical interconnectivity will allow relief to areas affected by a variety of natural emergencies. “Because of the unique geography of the Andean region, we are subject to earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, floods as well as droughts. The Regional Andean Electricity Market will be available to provide energy to affected areas in cases of disasters and emergencies,” it said.

According to CAN, planning is already underway to upgrade electrical connections between the four countries, with new transmission lines scheduled to be installed beginning in April 2024.

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