Operator Series: Enel Green Power Mexico expanding footprint

By
Monday, February 26, 2018

Enel Green Power Mexico is expanding its presence in the country, having been awarded the largest number of projects in Mexico's first two electric power auctions held in March and September 2016, and four wind farms totaling 593MW of capacity in the third auction last November.

EGPM's portfolio in Mexico currently totals 728MW, of which 675MW is wind and 53MW hydropower, and the company aims to grow its client portfolio to 1,000 over the next five years, which is 25% of the total number of users with constant consumption of more than 1MW.

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In January, the company began construction of the 93MW Salitrillos wind farm in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, EGPM's first there. Tamaulipas is set to become Mexico's second most important state for wind power after Oaxaca.

Located near Reynosa, Saltrillos will cost some US$120mn and generate around 400GWh/y, and is slated to enter operations in 2019, anchored by a 15-year power purchase agreement with state utility CFE.

The other wind projects EGPM will build as a result of the November auction are Amistad II and Amistad III, each with 100MW capacity, and the 149MW Amistad IV, all three of which will be built in Acuña, in Coahuila state, while the 244MW Dolores facility will be built in Nuevo León state.

The company also built the 754MW Villanueva solar plant in Coahuila state, the largest PV facility in the Americas and Enel's biggest solar project worldwide, the final phase of which entered operations last December, nine months ahead of schedule, and is also developing the 238MW Don José PV project in Guanajuato state.

SEE EARLY-STAGE SOLAR PROJECTS IN MEXICO HERE

Last October, EPGM launched a Mexican qualified supplier subsidiary aiming to attract around 150 large-scale clients and generate annual revenues of US$35mn after having announced it would sell its US$1.35bn, 80% stake in eight solar and wind projects in Mexico, three of which are operational and five are under construction, with capacity totaling 1.7GW.

The eight facilities are the Villanueva I, Villanueva II, Villanueva III and Don José solar plants, and the Dominica, Palo Alto, Saltrillos and Vientos del Altiplano wind farms. EGPM will retain direct control of about 300MW of capacity already installed in Mexico, represented by the Stipa Nayaa, Zopiloapan and Sureste wind farms, and the El Gallo, Chilatan and Trojes hydroelectric plants, as well as the solar COP 16 solar plant.

The company's increasing footprint in the country has also seen it get involved in supporting local communities.

In late 2016, EGPM signed agreements with the Universidad Autónoma Chapingo to devise and implement sustainable farming projects for communities in the states of Jalisco and Zacatecas, which are part of the company's "seeds for innovation" program.