Mexico to hold new power auction including solar in November

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Mexico’s Energy Regulatory Commission, CRE and the National Center for Energy Control (CENACE) have published a call for the fourth long-term power auction.

According to a press release from the Mexican government, this will be the first auction led by the CRE, while in the three previous years, the auctions were carried out by the Secretary of Energy (SENER).

The contest, which is planned to be concluded in early November, is open to different clean technologies, including solar PV. Selected power projects are due to come online on January 1, 2021.

The general director of CENACE, Eduardo Meraz Ateca, said that it is estimated that an additional 13,000 MW of generation and 38 TWh of clean energy will be connected to the Mexican grid by 2021.

In the third long-term power auction, which was held last November, solar achieved a world record average price of US$20.57 per MWh.

According to CENACE, 55% of the contracted energy and 58.3% of clean energy certificates corresponded to solar energy. This means an energy total exceeding 3 million MWh/year, with an estimated plant capacity of more than 1,323 MW, and an investment of more than $1 billion.

In the previous two auctions, which were held in 2016, PV projects with a combined capacity of 3.6 GW were ultimately selected. In both of them, around 1.8 GW of contracts for solar power projects were awarded.

In the first auction, the final average price for solar power was $44.9/MWh, while in the second tender, the average price for PV was $31.7/MWh.