The second-largest retail chain in Mexico Tiendas Soriana is embarking on a nationwide PV push to install 31 MW of solar capacity across 120 retail locations throughout Mexico, and has enlisted the help of Germanys Hanwha Q CELLS to deliver its high-efficiency panels for the project.
Hanwha Q CELLS will join local developer and construction company Ilioss to install rooftop and carport systems in Soriana's stores in Mexico City and the states of Jalisco, Queretaro, Mexico and 12 more. Hanwha Q CELLS will finance the entire 31 MW of PV equipment, with Soriana agreeing a 20-year power purchase agreement for the solar energy produced.
Construction has already commenced on the first seven sites, located in Baja California Sur, which require 12,000 Q CELLS Q.PRO-G3 250 W panels that will generate 3.05 MW of solar power in total. Completion of all 120 sites is expected for early 2015.
"Soriana is an ideal partner for a solar project of this scale in Mexico," said Hanwha Q CELLS country manager for Mexico, Alejo Lopez. "Solar power makes strong economic sense for many large retail and industrial energy users in Mexico, even without any government subsidies."
Hanwha Q CELLS' U.S. president, Moon Hwan Cha, added that Mexico is a prime growth market for the company thanks to its appetite for solar and the opportunities within Mexico to make long-term partnerships with local companies.
The CFO of Tiendas Soriana, Aurelio Adan, was equally effusive about the partnership. "With this association Hanwha Q CELLS, Soriana and Ilioss join forces to provide the most advanced technology to obtain clean energy at preferential costs. This project allows Soriana to meet both its sustainability and cost saving goals," he said.
The presence of Hanwha Q CELLS in Mexico runs parallel to a general growing interest in PV in the country. Analysts IHS yesterday published a report stating that Latin America led by Mexico and Brazil will experience the largest capital expenditure growth in PV manufacturing this year, next year, and into 2016 as the region enjoys sustained levels of investment and confidence in its solar sector.