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    Decree Was Signed so that ICE Can Buy Energy from Private Generators

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    President Rodrigo Chaves signed a decree to authorize the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE) to acquire energy from private generators with a valid public service concession and that have been without a contract, the Ministry of Environment and Energy (Minae) announced last Friday.

    The Minae statement indicates that the president signed the decree “this week”, without specifying the date. The document will allow the government to boost the economy “in areas where private power plants will operate and will be reactivated after years of being with the key closed”, said the government representative. The decree opens the door to the export of national energy surpluses to the regional power market, which will help “lower rates”, according to the Minae statement. “With this measure, the country is preparing for the summer with complementary clean generation to keep our electricity 100% renewable”, he adds.

    ICE did not renew the contracts of these private generators in 2020, and in February 2021 it defended that the decision was made in accordance with the law and to benefit the National Electric System. The entity explained at that time that the measure affected four contracts signed in the 1980s, but that another 26 contracts remained in force. According to what the Costa Rican Association of Energy Producers (Acope) said at the time, this decision caused the closure of several generating plants and the only solution to the problem was to renegotiate the contracts with ICE, something that the decree signed by Chaves will facilitate.

    Marco Acuña, executive president of ICE, pointed out that “with this possibility we are better prepared to face the energy needs of the summer with clean and national sources. In addition, it is possible to purchase energy with more competitive rates than using thermal sources”.

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