From pv magazine Mexico.
Mexican utility the Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) has confirmed it will build its first large scale photovoltaic projects, days after pv magazine revealed its plans to deploy 350 MW of solar generation capacity at the company’s 820 MW Cerro Prieto geothermal plant.
The Cerro Prieto II and III solar plants will cost MXN7.7 billion ($342 million), according to a document on the state-owned utility’s website.
The two-stage project – Cerro Prieto II will have a capacity of 150 MW and Cerro Prieto III 200 MW – is intended to generate electricity for the Baja California peninsula. It is not clear whether the CFE will finance or construct the 1,081ha solar project, which is intended to complete its first stage in the first half of 2023 and the second during 2029.
The solar project was revealed in the wake of an extraordinary memorandum issued by president Andrés Manuel López Obrador to energy sector regulatory bodies.
In the 17-point document, the president dubbed the Energy Reform program of the previous government a “pillage policy” that was “based on bribes delivered to most legislators and, through media deception, to the population.”
The head of state conceded the CFE and state-owned petrol company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) “must recognize the contracts signed by the previous governments” but added the caveat: “…as long as they do not involve fraud against public companies and the nation.”
In a further blow to the domestic solar and wind industry, the president stipulated: “The national electrical system must be fed in this order: First, upload the energy produced in the hydroelectric plants to the distribution network; secondly, what is generated in other CFE plants; thirdly, private wind or solar energy and at the end, combined cycle energy from private companies.”
President Obrador also reiterated his desire to turn around the state-owned petrol and power companies, stating: “It is urgent to deepen the changes already begun to rescue Pemex and the CFE, considering these public companies as strategic and indispensable for the independent and sovereign development of our nation.”
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