Latin America’s largest PV project comes online

The solar park Villanueva III has started delivering power to Mexico’s grid, according to a statement released by the Mexican government on its website on Monday.

The government said the solar park has so far generated an average of 4.18 MWh and has reached a maximum of 11.74 MWh. The solar facility, the capacity of which is expected to be raised to 250 MW soon, has started operations nine months ahead of scheduled.

When completed, the 327 MW solar park, which is part of the 754 MW Villanueva solar complex, will be Latin America’s largest PV power plant.

This project, located in Villa Hidalgo, in the northwestern state of Coahuila, was selected by the Mexican government in the country’s first power auction, held in 2016. With its entry into operation, it becomes the auction’s first winning project that injects energy to the Mexican electric system.

In early October, project developer, Italian electric utility, Enel, announced the sale of the Villanueva I solar plants (427 MW) and Villanueva III (327 MW) projects, and the Don José (238 MW) projects to Canadian institutional investor Caisse de dépot et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Mexican pension fund, CKD Infraestructura México S.A. de C.V. (CKD IM).

Enel started construction on the two Villanueva facilities in March. They are part of 1 GW of capacity that Enel won in the 2016 energy auction.

In the energy auction held last year, Enel was also awarded a contract for the 238 MW Don José solar project in Guanajuato. Construction started in April.