Enel to expand its Mexican mega-projects by 96 MW

Enel Green Power Mexico has signed an agreement with Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) to expand by 10% the capacity of its solar photovoltaic farms Villanueva (754 MW) and Don José (238 MW,) along with the Salitrillos wind farm. The expansion will add an additional 96 MW of PV generation capacity. The projects are said to be nearing completion.

The Enel Group will invest approximately $97 million in expansion of the three plants, of which $64.1 million in the Villanueva projects ($36.3 million in the Villanueva I and $27.8 million in the Villanueva III), $21 million in the Don José facility and $12 million in the Salitrillos wind array.

This plan is the result of an option in the existing contracts for sale of energy linked to the three plants and awarded to EGPM in the first of Mexico’s two long term power auctions. Contracts for Villanueva and Don José were awarded in the first auction, while the contract for Salitrillos was granted in the second auction, both carried out in 2016.

The three projects are backed by contracts with the CFE for the sale of specific energy volumes for 15 years and Clean Energy Certificates for 20 years.

The new planned sections of the Villanueva and Don José solar facilities will come into operation in the second half of 2018. The Villanueva solar park, located in the state of Coahuila, once completed, will have a final installed capacity of approximately 828 MW, an increase of around 74 MW. The Don José solar plant, located in the state of Guanajuato, will add about 22 MW to its original capacity of 238 MW, reaching a final installed capacity of approximately 260 MW. The Salitrillos wind farm, located in the state of Tamaulipas, will be expanded by approximately 10 MW.

These expansions will add approximately 107 MW to the Enel Group’s renewable capacity in Mexico once they will be finalized.

The news comes just six months after Enel announced it sold a stake of 80% in 1.7 GW of renewable energy projects currently in operation or under construction in Mexico to the Canadian institutional investor Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), and the Mexican pension fund CKD Infraestructura México SA de CV (CKD IM).

The transaction included 1 GW of photovoltaic projects, which consists of the Villanueva I solar plants (427 MW), Villanueva III (327 MW) and Don José (238 MW).