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Clean Power Mexico gets Latin America's largest solar plant

Published on May 29th, 2013 | by James Ayre

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Largest Solar PV Power Plant In Latin America In The Works In Mexico

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May 29th, 2013 by
 

This article was originally published on Solar Love.

A new 30 MW solar photovoltaic power plant is currently being constructed in Mexico — in La Paz, Baja California Sur. Once completed, the plant will be Latin America’s largest photovoltaic solar power plant, providing enough electricity to power an estimated 160,000 households.

Photo Credit: austinhk / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo Credit: austinhk / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND


The plant is being built by Martifer Solar, a subsidiary of Martifer SGPS. The company is responsible for all of the engineering and construction, and will also provide operation and maintenance services after the plant is completed. The plant is being funded by the local development bank Nafin, with further assistance from International Finance Corporation and Corporación Aura Solar.

The solar power plant, situated on a large 100-hectare site, will feature about 132,000 modules installed on single-axis trackers once completed — generating about 82 GWh/year and offsetting around 60,000 tons of CO2 emissions. It is currently scheduled to be completed by August 2013.

The project will be the first utility-scale solar project under a Power Purchase Agreement contract (20 years long) between a private company and Comisión Federal de Electricidad, Mexico’s federal power company, and also represents a big increase in total solar capacity for the country.

“Martifer Solar’s experience and worldwide track-record were decisive during the analysis of the different proposals made by the main companies in the sector. Due to its dimension, this project in Mexico will open the way for the development of the photovoltaic sector in the country, where, to date, were installed 13 MW of PV projects”, says Hector Olea, CEO of Gauss Energía, a Mexican company specialized in project development in the energy sector, in the press release.

Mexico has enormous potential with regards to solar energy — 70% of the country has an insolation of greater than 4.5 kWh/m²/day. What that means is that by “using 15% efficient photovoltaics, a square 25 km (16 mi) on each side in the state of Chihuahua or the Sonoran Desert (0.01% of Mexico) could supply all of Mexico’s electricity.” It’s currently predicted that the country will experience a solar power boom in the coming years, likely allowing it to reach its goal of receiving 35% of its energy from renewable sources by 2026.

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.



  • Pieter Siegers

    Good news is always welcome, so thanks! :-)

  • James Wimberley

    Mexico does not seem to have specific incentives for rooftop solar – but retail tariffs are high enough that these may not be necessary.

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