UK's Hive Energy opens Mexico office

U.K. solar development company Hive Energy last week opened an office in Mexico City as the British developer seeks solar opportunities in one of the world’s most hotly anticipated markets.

Hive Energy’s Bernardo Fernandez has been given the role of business development and project manager for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, and his remit will be to identify solar PV opportunities in the form of power purchase agreements (PPAs) and auctions.

Company CEO Giles Redpath described Mexico as perhaps the world’s first "unsubsidized ‘real’ solar market of size", and one of the few big countries where renewable energy is at grid parity.

"Without any subsidies or FITs to roll back, Mexico’s solar market is almost certain to persist in the long-term, and we want to take this opportunity to support the fledgling solar industry with our wealth of experience," added Redpath.

Mexico’s Secretaria de Energia (SENER), which governs the country’s energy sector, has set a goal of installing 6 GW of solar PV capacity in Mexico by 2020. Currently, however, Mexico has less than 1% of that figure installed, but with high energy prices from traditional sources and increasingly cheaper solar, many experts expect the market to rapidly accelerate over the coming years.

Recent data shows that there are 160,000 Mexican households with solar systems currently installed, while the ground-mounted large-scale sector is poised to boom.

Hive Energy’s expansion follows just days after fellow British solar developer Lightsource announced it has already begun exploring post-subsidy development models in the U.K. solar market, including a merchant scheme whereby the company will sell solar energy directly from its solar farms to large electricity users.