Italian power provider Enel announced it has started construction on the largest PV plant on the American continant, the 754 MW Villanueva project, which is located in the Mexican state of Coahuila.
The company is investing €650 million in the project, which is scheduled for completion in the second half of 2018.
The project is part of the 1 GW capacity that Enel won in Mexico’s first energy auction, which was held in 2016. The project consists of the Villanueva 1 plan, which has a capacity of 427 MW, and the 327 MW Villanueva 3 project, which will be built simultaneously. The project is being developed by local subsidiary Enel Green Power Mexico, a unit of the group’s renewable energy arm Enel Green Power.
“Mexico is a key country for Enel and we look forward to contributing further to the country’s growing electricity sector, with clean energy generated by Villanueva and the 530 MW of solar and wind projects we have under execution,” said Paolo Romanacci, Enel’s Head of Renewable Energies for Central America.
In the energy auction held last year, Enel also won a contract for the 238 MW Don José solar project in Guanajuato. Work on the plant has not begun yet. For this project the company secured a 15-year PPA and a 20-year clean energy certificate sale contract.
In 2016, the Mexican government held two renewable energy auctions, through which it allocated overall 3.6 GW of installed PV capacity.
On the other hand, Enel stresses that the Villanueva plant is currently its largest PV project. The company has built some of Latin America’s largest solar facilities, including the 160 MW Finis Terrae project in Chile.