Renewables move from southern to northern Mexico

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Mexico's southern states enjoyed a head start in renewables projects. The first great windfarm buildout took place in Oaxaca state with 22 windfarms built between 1994 and 2017, and the first long-term energy auction in 2016 had eight of the 16 projects with winning bids located in Yucatan state.

Yet, since then Mexico's southern states have rapidly lost ground.

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Only one out of 26 projects from the second long-term renewables auction in 2016 was in the south, and in the third long-term auction in 2017 none of the 13 winning projects was.

The first finished projects from Mexico's first energy auction were Enel's Villanueva I, Villanueva III and Don José solar parks in the northern and central states of Coahuila and Guanajuato. Meanwhile numerous projects in Yucatan from the first long-term energy auction have been delayed due to community resistance.

Especially, Oaxaca has to deal with a lot of community resistance to wind farms.

Meanwhile investment is moving northward. The energy ministry expects US$423mn in investment in northern Sonora state in the next three years.

Also, energy minister Joaquin Coldwell opened this Monday the interconnection infrastructure for Mexico's largest future windfarm, Zuma Energia's 420MW US$600mn Reynosa project.