The largest photovoltaic plant in Colombia is inaugurated in La Loma, Cesar

President Gustavo Petro was present at the event, who insisted on the importance of continuing to promote renewable energy projects and replace coal extraction. According to the president, the same communities that today depend on this fossil fuel are the ones that have the opportunity to contribute to the country’s energy transition.
In La Loma, Cesar, the largest solar energy park in the country was inaugurated, an area of 437 hectares that has more than 400,000 solar panels. The project had begun construction in March 2021, by the company Enel Green Power, in charge of inaugurating the site this Tuesday, February 13, together with President Gustavo Petro.

According to Alberto de Paoli, director of Enel Américas, La Loma, the name given to the park, “will contribute significantly to the generation of clean and renewable energy.” This place will have the capacity to produce 420 gigawatts (GWh) per year, which is equivalent to the energy supply of some 370,000 Colombian inhabitants annually, according to the multinational. The project had an investment of 126 million dollars.
During the inauguration, President Petro reiterated the importance of advancing renewable energy projects and replacing the country’s thermoelectric plants. “Coal turned the region (La Guajira and Cesar) into a desert… That the large-scale coal mining in this area is about to end is not the president’s whim, it is the dynamics of the world,” said the president.
In addition, he proposed that Cesar be an experiment region to put aside coal, one of the fossil fuels largely responsible for climate change, and start generating clean energy. He says that it is possible that all the communities in this area contribute to the country’s energy transition, since the department has great potential to be a benchmark in South America.

“Former coal workers could set up solar energy generation cooperatives anywhere in Cesar,” Petro mentioned. However, he also acknowledged that it is normal for communities to be afraid because they depend on coal. As in the case of El Paso, one of the townships where there was mining exploitation by the Swiss multinational, Prodeco, which renounced its titles in 2021.

“The wealth of the region, measured today by coal extraction with dollars that do not return to the area, can be converted into the wealth of the nation and the region, for the same people, only by using the sun, if the communities do what Enel did,” indicated the president.