Mexico awards more than 1 GW of solar at US$40.50/MWh


Mexico has awarded more than 1 GW of solar PV in the first electricity auction following the nation’s energy reform. Seven winning solar projects from Enel Green Power (EGP), SunPower, Alten and Recurrent Energy represent 56% of the 5,386 Gigawatt-hours (GWh) awarded in the auction. The remaining 44% is covered by four wind projects.

The company which won the most was EGP, which was awarded around 2,250 GWh. In a press release, the company stated that this volume will be covered by four solar parks in Coahuila and Guanajuato which total 992 MW-DC.

EGP took roughly 42% of the total volume awarded and nearly 3/4 of the volume which corresponded to solar projects. The remainder went to four projects by SunPower Systems Mexico, Alten Renewable Energies Mexico 5 and Recurrent Energy Mexico Development. Recurrent Energy is a subsidiary of Canadian Solar.

In total, SunPower was awarded 269 GWh (around 9% of the total volume), Recurrent won 140 GWh (around 5%), and Spain’s Alten was awarded 368 GWh (around 12%).

Median price of US$40.50/MWh for solar

The median price of PV projects fell at around US$40.50 per megawatt-hour (MWh), according to local press. In order to obtain this price one must include, in addition to electricity, the awarding of 5.4 million of clean energy certificates. These are related to the same projects.

With this, the median price of PV projects is lower than the median price of $43.90/MWh for wind projects. Therefore wind took a lower volume of projects than solar projects. Wind corresponded to 44% of the volume awarded.

In total, 1.7 GW-AC of wind and solar projects were awarded, and of the two 1.1 GW-AC corresponded to solar projects, according to local press. The electricity and the CEL awarded represented 85% of the volume available in the auction, and the remaining electricity and CEL available were unclaimed.

The PV plants awarded are located in the north and center of Mexico, specifically in the states of Aguascalientes, Guanajuato y Coahuila. In this first electricity auction the single long-term counterparty is Mexico’s state utility CFE. The projects awarded are expected to enter into operation in 2018.

This first electricity auction attracted much interest. Already in the first phase, participation was very high, with 109 bidders which submitted 468 technical offers. After obtaining prequalification, 69 bidders presented financial bids.

For this auction, there were presented projects from PV, wind, hydro, combined cycle, geothermal and cogeneration sources.

Mexico’s energy reform plans for an electricity market to begin to operate at the beginning of this year and establishes a call for procurement of long-term power. According to Mexico’s Secretary of Energy, the next electricity auction of this type will be convened in April.

This article was translated by Christian Roselund. The original in Spanish can be found on the pv magazine Latinoamérica website.