Mexico’s 14-MW Chilatan files for carbon credit approval

The sponsor of the 14-MW Chilatan hydroelectric project has applied to the United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) agency for approval to sell carbon emissions credits from the project, which now is operating on the Corongoros River in Mexico’s Jalisco State.

Corporacion Mexicana de Hidroelectricidad (Comexhidro) began construction of the project in 2004 on behalf of project owner Proveedora de Electricidad de Occidente S. de R.L. de C.V. It began operation in November 2005.

The application to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change said the project includes a powerhouse with two 7-MW turbine-generators constructed downstream of the existing Chilatan Dam irrigation project. It also includes a substation and 1.5-kilometer transmission line to connect with the Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) grid.

�Carbon finance makes it possible to reduce the electricity price so that it is sufficiently attractive and competitive compared to CFE’s tariffs,� the application said. �Without carbon finance, the return on the investment would not be attractive enough to justify the investment in the project.�

Proveedora, which filed the application with co-sponsor Impulsora Nacional de Electricidad S. de R.L. de C.V., said Chilatan is expected to offset 684,390 tons of carbon dioxide over the estimated 21-year carbon credit period. It is expected to generate 61,490 MWh per year.

Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation worked on Chilatan under terms of a US$12 million engineering-procurement-construction contract. It supplied two 7-MW Francis turbines, and performed power station design and construction.

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