Reimagining Development with Cleantech

Greenwood Energy
Written by Robert Hoshowsky

Sustainable energy projects are on the rise worldwide, and Greenwood Energy is a leader in the development, financing, construction, and operation of these power generation projects. Committed to social purpose, Greenwood’s turnkey solutions include everything from handling legalities, to technical permitting and building, to maintenance.

As an independent power producer, Greenwood is especially suited to exactly matching the needs of its clients with cleantech solar, wind, waste-to-energy, and natural gas solutions, while financing 100 percent of these projects. For clients, this means “significant energy savings from day one of operation, with no up-front cash outlay,” the company says.

“To achieve the highest standards in the development and operation of successful sustainable energy solutions, we put together a highly specialized team of professionals that can guarantee our clients the excellence that we’ve committed to delivering,” says Guido Patrignani, Chief Executive Officer at Greenwood Energy.

“We’re dedicated to project development, basic and detailed engineering, financial and legal structuring, and operations and maintenance. For the construction of our projects, we partner with top global engineering, procurement, and construction contractors who’re closely supervised by our engineering team.”

220 projects in six countries
Greenwood Energy is the renewable-energy subsidiary for Latin America of the privately owned international business Libra Group, which has diversified sectors and is involved in aviation, real estate, hotels and hospitality, and other areas in over 50 countries.

With GSI in the United States and EuroEnergy in Europe, the group has over 15 years of experience in the renewable energy sector, developing over 1,000 MW in these regions. At present, the Libra Group has more than 220 projects in six countries in various stages including under development, owned, or previously developed.

Highly experienced in the energy sector, Patrignani spend over a decade in Argentina’s Oil & Gas industry, where he acted as the Latin American representative agent of leading fiberglass manufacturers such as PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG) and Nippon Electric Glass (TYO: 5214) in product and client development of glass reinforced epoxy piping for hydrocarbon transportation.

In the renewable energy sector, he represented Urban Green Energy in Argentina for the development of distributed generation projects, and was the Chief Operating Officer of 2C Power LLC, a firm focused on the development of clean energy projects in Colombia.

In September 2020, 2C Power LLC was acquired by Greenwood Energy Latinoamerica, a renewable energy subsidiary of the Libra Group, consolidating Greenwood Energy as an innovative cleantech company dedicated to the development, construction, and operation of power plants in Panama and Colombia.

Solutions for South America
“This is the Libra Group’s first investment in Colombia and extends the group’s energy sector platform in the Americas to the South American continent,” says the company in its media release. “With its significantly expanded management team, Greenwood Energy will provide reliable and sustainable energy solutions that match the energy infrastructure needs and resources of the regions it serves across Latin America.

“The company points out that developing areas of Latin America operate with inadequate power-grid infrastructure, leading to an expensive, unreliable, and unpredictable power supply, hindering growth and competitiveness of local businesses.”

The company is currently advancing projects for 290 MW with extensive environmental and social impact in Colombia and Panama and will begin construction of the first 120 MW in Q1 2023. With corporate headquarters in Panama City and Barranquilla, Greenwood has a team of 19 executives in the areas of management, engineering, finance, and legal.

Financing, developing, installing, and operating in the cleantech space, Greenwood Energy focuses on providing sustainable, reliable energy solutions. These include the Terra Initiative, Alma Mater, and Hospital Chiriqui.

In Colombia, the Terra Initiative is a 144 MWp (Megawatts-peak) utility-scale solar project comprising six 24 MWp solar plants. It will sell its energy through long-term PPAs (power purchase agreements) to Colombia’s top commercialization companies.

Included in the project is the construction of three Indigenous towns for 150 Arhuaco families, Indigenous people of Colombia, and will share profits with the Indigenous community for the acquisition of preservation land. Each solar plant will be transferred to the Arhuaco community after 25 years of operation.

Combining profitability with sustainability, Greenwood Energy respects people and the environment and has a focus on engaging with local Indigenous groups for its projects.

Reimagining Development
At present, the company is developing a series of projects under the theme of ‘Reimagining Development’, including the newest, the Terra Initiative. The first project of its kind, the utility-scale solar project—developed in partnership with the Arhuaco Indigenous community of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in Colombia—will also see the preservation of almost 296,500 acres in what the International Union for Conservation of Nature has called the world’s ‘most irreplaceable nature reserve.’

“Reimagining Development means that environmental and social benefits are considered along with monetary returns,” says Patrignani. “Accordingly, the solar plants in the Terra Initiative will be built next to the Indigenous towns and we will train their inhabitants in the technical skills needed to operate and maintain the plants.

“This is not a giveaway or a social program, but a new way of structuring infrastructure projects.”

Announced in June, Panama’s Alma Mater is a 40 MWp grid-connected solar project that will power Universidad de Panama (UP), the largest university in the country, with over 90,000 students.

“Thanks to this project, UP will become the first public university in Latin America to be entirely powered by renewable energy sources,” says Patrignani. “This project will be paired with nearly $30 million in academic and technical support to the university for 20 years. After this period, the plant will be transferred to the educational institution.”

Another key project for Greenwood Energy is Hospital Chiriqui. A private hospital in the City of David, the capital of the province of Chiriqui, this 600 kWp photovoltaic (PV) project was inaugurated by Greenwood Energy in 2019. A fixed structure installed on the roof and garage of the hospital, this project saves the hospital almost 30 percent in monthly electricity bills, and it was designated as ‘self-consumption’ under the ASEP AN 5399-Elec. Program.

Sustainability and climate change
Currently active in Colombia and Panama, Greenwood Energy expects to see continued growth in those locations, along with the United States, largely because of the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA).

Passed in mid-August 2022, the IRA has many objectives, from lowering prescription drug prices to reducing the deficit, raising $737 billion, and authorizing $369 billion for promoting clean energy and addressing climate change.

“Owing to the IRA, Greenwood Energy expects to see increased deployments of clean energy projects in the United States, especially in the type of projects Greenwood Energy is working on under the theme of Reimagining Development, where the community and the conservation of nature play a relevant role,” comments Patrignani.

“Therefore, we’ll work closely with our sister company in the U.S., Greenwood Sustainable Infrastructure (GSI), to explore different opportunities in which our experience can be harnessed for the greater good of the country, its communities, and its environment.”

According to Greenwood’s current schedule, 2023 will see the construction of the first 120 MW in Colombia and Panama, and completion of the licensing process of at least an additional 80 MW in Colombia.

Based on ongoing developments and conversations, Greenwood Energy also expects to expand the Reimagining Development business model even further in both countries, since it has been met with considerable interest from governments, educational institutions, and Indigenous communities.

With an executive team holding 800 MW of combined power generation experience across 90 projects in the U.S. and Latin America, Greenwood’s position as a leader in sustainable energy is assured.

“Greenwood’s mission is to provide energy solutions to a new world under pressure to reverse the catastrophic climate challenges global society is facing now,” says Patrignani. “Based on the feedback of our clients, governments, partners, and the public, we’re aware of the pressing need to take infrastructure projects to the next level.

“Historically, these projects have had a huge impact on communities and the environment. Through the Reimagining Development series, Greenwood is presenting an alternative to how infrastructure projects must be done.”



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