Mexico’s public sector utility Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) plans to develop 8,080 MW in new clean energy projects before the end of the current administration in 2024, according to BNamericas.
“We are still exploring, we are still evaluating new projects,” said Mario Morales Vielma, CFE’s director of legacy contract negotiations, at a press conference last week. “So that, in the rest of the administration, we can identify new initiatives that would add to those that are already known to add another 8,080 MW of new technologies for total investments of US$4.85 billion.”
Morales added that the new capacity would be made up by energy sources including hydroelectric, nuclear and geothermal, as well as solar and wind.
The administration is also pushing for solar development in Sonora state through a new public company owned by the state government, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) said. “We are investigating this, whether it is viable,” AMLO said. “What we are proposing is to build a solar generation park in Sonora, in the adequate spaces and to inject this energy into the grid; all of this in coordination with CFE.”
Regarding the six combined cycle units that the firm is in the process of tendering and that will add a total capacity of 4,322 MW, CFE said they would require combined investments of US$2.9 billion.
According to CFE, Mexico will see power demand rise by 8.8% to require 52,420 MW of installed capacity to be properly serviced in 2024, while the country’s actual installed capacity is expected to reach 104,380 MW that same year.
“There are a series of permits that were authorized and are in construction, or that have an interconnection contract with CFE, which will allow private generators to grow the system to have 761 generators with an installed capacity of 104,380 MW” by 2024, said Morales. He added that this excess capacity allowed Mexico to respond quickly to the fallout from the cold front that paralyzed natural gas flows from Texas in February.
Morales also said that “intermittent” power plants, such as wind and solar parks, would have to be “properly regulated” by capping their participation in the power matrix to ensure they do not destabilize the national system. These comments are in line with attempts by the AMLO administration to limit, suspend or revoke generation permits, as well as to bolster CFE generators by altering dispatch priority rules.
The company said it will tender transmission and distribution works totaling 48.6 billion pesos (US$2.35 billion) between 2021 and 2025. The works will be focused on bolstering the availability of existing CFE power plants.
CFE president Manuel Bartlett added that the near-term transmission portfolio involves the construction of 18 projects and the installation of 3,000 km of new lines throughout the country.