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Mexico to Meet Clean-Energy Goal With New CFE Solar, Hydro Plants – Bloomberg Linea

  • The energy ministry has rejected that it includes combined-cycle plants within its clean energy matrix, but does not rule out including them-
The Puerto Peñasco solar plant in Sonora, Mexico ( CFE -Presidencia México)
The Puerto Peñasco solar plant in Sonora, Mexico ( CFE -Presidencia México)

Arturo Solis, bloomberg Linea

Energiesnet.com 06 30 2023

Mexico will meet its clean energy goal by 2024 with the rehabilitation of hydroelectric plants and the opening of a solar power plant in Sonora belonging to state-owned utility Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), the Energy Ministry (Sener) has revealed.

In an interview with Bloomberg Línea, Sener’s undersecretary of energy transition and planning, Heberto Barrios Castillo, explained that the goal of 35% of the country’s electricity generated with clean technology will be achieved with the investment projects of the company headed by Manuel Bartlett Díaz.

“The [clean energy] goal will be met with the investments in Puerto Peñasco and hydroelectric plants”Heberto Barrios, under secretary of energy transition and planning

CFE is refurbishing 20 of its 60 hydroelectric plants, in addition to building the second phase of the largest solar photovoltaic plant in Latin America in Puerto Peñasco, in Sonora state, which will be completed in June 2024.

Mexico generated 31.2% of its electricity with clean energy during 2022, 0.8% below the government’s target set out in the Energy Transition Law, even applying the new clean energy criteria, approved three days earlier by energy regulator CRE, in the most recent program for the development of the national electricity grid.

The generation capacity of the first two phases of Puerto Peñasco and 13 of the 20 refurbished hydroelectric plants will contribute approximately 700MW, according to CFE’s 2023-2027 business plan.

Investments for the four phases of the Puerto Peñasco solar plant, which will have batteries for energy storage, amount to $1.6 billion, while the refurbishments represent an outlay of $1.2 billion, according to CFE data and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

The government of AMLO, as the Mexican president is known, halted the entry into operation of new solar plants and wind farms due to the risks to the national electricity system because of their intermittency when there is no sun or wind, which resulted in a tsunami of appeals from private companies and a reform by the president to the Electricity Industry Law.


CRE agreement does not benefit combined cycle plants

The agreement published by the CRE and proposed by a former Sener official does not count gas and steam combined-cycle plants as clean energy, but it is up to the CRE and Sener to decide which plants provide efficient cogeneration, Sener’s Barrios said.

“If that were so, clean energy would account for around 70% of the total energy generated,” he said.

He said that, worldwide, natural gas has already been declared as a transition fuel and that Mexico has not done so because the country is doing “well”, but “it could be another option”, although he added that it is most likely that this decision will be made by the next administration.

bloomberglinea.com 06 29 2023

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