EIA for Developing Battery Energy Storage Systems in Colombia

an aerial view of solar panelsan aerial view of solar panels
Client: US Economic Development Adminstriation
Time Period: 2017-2018
Staff: Dan Tormey, Ben Pogue​​​​​​​
Service lines: Energy
Catalyst prepared an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to serve as a programmatic environmental review of the development of Battery Energy Storage Systems in Columbia
Celsia is a major electric utility provider in Colombia that is planning to develop up to 200 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy generation. Celsia has launched the first of these projects, the 9.9 MW Yumbo solar photovoltaic power plant, near the city of Cali. Since utility-scale solar power plants in Colombia could require the installation of supplemental technologies (such as Battery Energy Storage Systems) in order to meet the country’s power sector regulations to ensure the stability and reliability of the country’s power grid, the Yumbo project will assess a test deployment of battery storage. In addition to the test deployment, the Yumbo project will examine the regulatory and technical aspects of installing BESS at solar power plants throughout Colombia. Catalyst developed a programmatic EIA to guide consideration of environmental impacts as Celsia increasingly relies on battery storage to assist in balancing peak energy consumption demands while integrating more energy from renewable resources.

While battery storage would be primarily developed in conjunction with renewable energy generation (primarily solar energy), the EIA will also analyse other likely scenarios of battery storage development, specifically industrial use and transmission grid reliability improvement. Without knowing the specific locations where battery storage may be developed, this EIA relies on governmental reports and peer-reviewed technical studies that characterize the typical environmental and social impacts from battery storage development.

Celsia, part of the Grupo Argos, is an integrated power company that offers wholesale and retail power to cities, businesses and homes. Celsia operates in Colombia, Panama, and Costa Rica and has a generation capacity of 2,387 MW through 27 hydroelectric, thermal, solar and wind power plants, which generated 7,125 GWh in 2016. Throughout the organization, Celsia employs 1,557 people.

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