Zuma Energía reaches financial closing for two solar projects totaling 337 MW in Mexico


Mexico’s development bank (Banca de desarrollo) has provided a total of $294 million in funds for the financial closing of two large-scale PV projects that Mexican developer Zumar Energía is planning to build in the states of Chihuahua and Sonora.

According to a press release from the local Department of Energy (Sener), the financing was provided by the Banca de desarrollo through Banobras, Nafin and North American Development Bank.

One of the two projects, which were both selected by the Sener in Mexico’s second power auction held in 2016, will be located in Hermosillo, Sonora. The Orejana solar park will have a capacity of 158 MW and a required investment of $139 million. The facility will use 487,440 solar modules, which are expected to generate 353 GWh per year. The plant will sell clean energy certificates and power to local utility CFE under a long-term PPA. Start of commercial operations is scheduled for June 2019.

The second project, named Santa María solar park, has a capacity of 179 MW and a required investment of $155 million. The facility will be located in Galeana, Chihuahua, and is expected to be completed by mid-2019.

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Zuma Energía, which is a joint venture between international multi asset emerging market investor Actis and Mesoamerica, a Latin american investment management firm, acquired the two projects from Spanish company Fisterra Energy in September 2016. The two solar facilities, together with another wind project that Zuma Energía won in Mexico’s second energy auction, represent 26.5% of all contracted power and 25.4% of all clean energy certificates.

A total of 4.8 terawatt hours per year were handed out to solar during the auction, making up more than half of the tender’'s total quota assigned to renewable energy sources. Some of the big solar winners were Acciona, X-Elio Energy, OPDE, Ienova, and Grenergy. The largest solar PV plant that won throughout the process is a huge 227 MW project in Sonora, being developed by a consortium of Spanish company Acciona alongside Mexican company Tuto Energy. The average price for projects within the clean energy category of the auction was $33.47 per MWh.

The auctions were introduced with Mexico’s recent energy reform. The country aims to cover 35% of its energy mix with renewables by 2024.

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