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Argentina seeks to become new clean energy El Dorado

Overseas specialists are setting up shop in the country as it aims to add 1GW of renewables capacity per year over the coming decade.

Emerging markets renewables developer Modern Energy Management (MEM) has opened an office in Argentina’s capital as the South American country seeks to attract clean energy investments.

MEM, a Thailand-based clean energy developer, said it has moved into the South American renewables space looking to take advantage of Argentina’s 10-year plan to add 1GW of renewables capacity per year, a goal that will need to attract up to $20 billion of investments.

Francisco Iacona will lead MEM’s new office and brings experience working as a project manager at wind turbine manufacturer Vestas and key account manager at Coamtra, a wind project installer in Argentina.

MEM said its new team in Buenos Aires must navigate a difficult investment climate in the country following Argentina’s national debt default. The developer said Iacona will lead its team by advising on site identification, grid capacity, asset deployment, development and construction support and will assist in contract negotiations.

In October, Argentina announced the results from its first renewables auction, awarding 17 projects that represent around $1.8 billion of investments and a combined 1,109MW of power. After receiving 123 project bids, Argentina awarded 12 wind projects, four solar and one biogas. The average winning wind price was $59.40 per MWh and $59.70 per MWh for solar.

“Argentina is widely considered to be one of the most promising renewables markets in the world, with strong government support and a successful auction behind it,” MEM cofounder Aaron Daniels said in a statement. “By expanding our Argentine team, MEM is uniquely positioned to assist investors as they move into the country’s fast-growth wind and solar sectors.”

MEM launched in 2013 with headquarters in Thailand and has since opened an office in Singapore.