Mexico remains the leading distributed solar market in Latin America


Net metered solar installations in Mexico reached a capacity of 114 MW at the end of 2015 in Mexico, according to data published by the nation’s Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE). In the past year more than 50 MW of solar PV has been added under the net metering program, which is limited to PV projects under 500 kW.

With these installation levels, Mexico retained its position for another year as the largest market for net-metered solar installations in Latin America, and is well ahead of other markets. In the last year Brazil reached 13.4 MW of PV under net metering, and the Dominican Republic has around 21 MW of net-metered installations.

In 2014, Mexico was also the largest market with around 30 MW of net-metered solar installed.

At the end of 2015 Mexico had 73.5 MW of PV installations in the small-scale residential market, which is defined as arrays smaller than 10 kW. The nation has another 40.4 MW of medium-scale installations from 10 kW to 500 kW in capacity.

The systems interconnected with the nation’s grid last year are expected to generate around 15 gigawatt-hours (GWh) annually. It is estimated that total annual generation from systems installed to date is around 89 GWh.

PV comprises more than 97% of the capacity installed under net metering. In total, at the end of the last year there were 17,000 contracts for interconnection for net-metered installations, including solar PV, small wind, biomass and biogas systems which totaled 118 MW.

CRE estimates that this year 87.8 MW of new projects will be installed under net metering, to bring the total to 205 MW. If current trends persist, forecasts point to 1.1 GW of net metering installations in 2020.

The National Solar Energy Association (ANES) had already predicted around 50 MW of PV installations under net metering in its 2015 presentation last December. ANES estimates that there are 450,000 electricity customers who are subject to high-consumption electricity rates, around 3 million commercial users and another 250,000 industrial installations in Mexico.

This article was translated by Christian Roselund. For the original article in Spanish, please see the pv magazine Latinoamérica website.