Mexico: Third auction sees 1.3 GW of contracted solar capacity

Mexico’s Department of Energy (Sener) and the National Center for Energy Control (Cenace) has confirmed the provisional results of the country’s third power auction, which were released on November 15, and that a record average price of US$ 20.57 per MWh has been reached.

According to Cenace, 55% of the contracted energy and 58.3% of clean energy certificates were assigned to solar energy projects. This totals energy exceeding 3 million MWh/year, with an estimated plant capacity of more than 1.323 GW and an investment of more than $1 billion.

As a result of the three auctions, solar energy reached a capacity of almost 5 GW, with an investment of $5 billion and an average price positioned as the most competitive worldwide.

Héctor Olea, president of the Mexican association of solar energy Asolmex, said in a press release, “Mexico has the solar potential and the regulatory framework to become the 7th largest PV market in the world in the next five years.” He continued, “The future of solar energy looks promising in the sector. The power generation portfolio is changing and it is expected that by 2021 there will be 6,000 MW of new energy capacity in operation.”

The constant reduction of technology costs, the high irradiation in the country and the opportunities granted by the energy reform, among which are the auctions, have seen a 74% increase in solar energy capacity from 2016 to 2017. In addition, more than 160,000 new users of distributed generation already enjoy the benefits of this technology. A concrete example of how these results are translated is the solar park that is being built in Coahuila, which will be the largest in Latin America when it enters into operation.

Most of the projects will be developed in the north of the country and will be in charge of eight winning companies, among which are European energy giants Enel Green Power, Engie and the Electricity Company los Ramones.