Latin America’s Largest Wind Project to Power Mexico Coca-Cola, Heineken, OXXO

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Photo Courtesy Vestas Wind Systems A/S
Latin America’s largest wind project to date is moving forward as Mexico’s Marena Renovables has placed an order for 396-MW worth of wind turbines with Danish manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems A/S. Vestas announced the order, which consists of 132 V90-3.0 MW wind turbines, this morning European time.

Located on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in the southern Pacific Mexican state of Oaxaca, the wind power project is being developed by Marena Renovables, a consortium made up of Australian merchant bank Macquarie’s Macquarie Mexican Infrastructure Fund, Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp. and PGGM, a Dutch pension fund service provider.

Financial terms of the Mexican wind power contract weren’t disclosed. Mitsubishi and PGGM recently upped their equity ownership in Marena Renvovables to 67.5%, having bought additional shares from fellow stakeholders Macquarie Capital and FEMSA.

A Latin America Milestone for Vestas

Vestas is to start delivering the wind turbines in this year’s 2Q. As part of the turnkey contract, Vestas will also provide the full range of services necessary to complete the project, including civil and electrical works; supply, installation and commissioning of the wind turbines, deployment of a VestasOnline Business SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system, and a ten-year service and maintenance agreement that as per its Active Output Management, AOM 5000 service package.

“This is a very important milestone for Vestas, as we look to strengthen our leadership position in Latin America and globally,” commented Juan Araluce, chief sales officer. “We are truly committed to the development of wind energy in Mexico and are extremely proud to bring a clean, competitive and predictable energy source to Mexico, while contributing to the creation of local high-quality jobs and competencies.”

Vestas has leveraged its investments in leading edge wind energy metric, project and systems design and analysis technology in carrying out the project. “Energy production has been maximized for the particular wind and site conditions of this project, through Vestas’ unique expertise in wind and weather – based on the industry’s best collection and analysis of weather and wind turbine performance data,” according to the company. “Each of the wind turbines’ sectors has an optimized reference power curve that accommodates the turbines’ given wind and topographical conditions.”

Wind Power for Coke, Heineken, Retail to Lower Mexican Reliance on Fossil Fuels

Mexican electric utility Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma has agreed to purchase the clean, renewable electricity generated by the wind farm. Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma is owned by Dutch brewer Heineken NV and subsidiaries of Fomento Economico Mexicano SAD de CV (FEMSA) under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

FEMSA operates the largest Coca-Cola bottler in Latin America and OXXO, a large and fast-growing chain of convenience stores. The wind-generated electricity from the Oaxaca wind farm will be used to power Coca-Cola FEMSA, OXXO and Heineken NV’s Mexican operations.

“This power supply agreement will help us cover our energy needs in a sustainable way,” Alfonso Garza, FEMSA’s director of human resources and strategic procurement. “Today, wind power is a reliable, competitive and clean source of energy and, therefore, it should be integrated in our energy supply mix.”

Marena Renovable’s Oaxaca wind farm will also contribute substantially to Mexico’s goal of reducing carbon emissions 50% by 2050 as compared to their 2002 level.

Mexico’s Congress in 2010 enacted the National Energy Strategy proposed by the Energy Ministry (SENER), which establishes a goal of reducing the percentage of electricity Mexico generates from fossil fuels to 65% by 2024, 60% by 2030 and 50% by 2050.

Reaching the 2024 milestone will require Mexico deploying an additional 7,000-MW of clean energy generation capacity in addition to the 10,000-MW currently planned.

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