Mexico to hold its first post-reform electricity auction

Mexico’s National Energy Control Center (CENACE) has announced the first electricity auction following sweeping energy sector reform in the nation, which will begin in January. In this auction clean energy certificates will be auctioned off, in addition to energy and capacity.

An estimated timetable for the auction will be published on November 30. After a process of questions and clarifications, definitive documents will be published on December 22. The last day to register bids will be on January 20, 2016, and the process will be resolved on March 31, 2016.

This is the first national auction within the framework of energy reform through which an electricity market will be created in January 2016. The auctions will be carried out annually and will be convened in April.

In this first auction 4-6 million 20-year renewable energy certificates (CELs) will be auctioned off, as well as 15-year contracts for energy and power, according to a government announcement last week during the presentation of the first auction.

For this auction, the only buyer will be state electric utility CFE, who is responsible for covering at least 5% of its customers’ electricity demand with clean energy in 2018. Other buyers will participate in future auctions. According to local press coverage, the Mexican Wind Energy Association (AMDEE) estimates that half of the CEL will correspond to wind projects in these auctions.

Mexican law has set a goal for 35% clean electricity in 2024 but does not give concrete goals for technologies.

This week various environmental organizations, among then the Mexican Environmental Network, issued a call for the Mexican Senate to approve the Energy Transition Law (LTE), under the terms it was approved the lower house of Mexico’s parliament. According to these organizations, LTE puts forth concrete measures for the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Translation by Christian Roselund. The original Spanish-language version of this article can be found on the pv magazine LatinoAmérica website.