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Major Solar Projects in Mexico Move Ahead

Mexico’s first double-digit utility-scale solar projects are heading into the pipeline. The first 20-MW phase of Sonora80M’s proposed solar park in Hermosillo, located in the northern state of Sonora, is planned to begin construction this year and come online in the first quarter of 2014; ultimately Sonora80M is planning four stages totaling 80 MW of capacity.

The project now has a new offtaker: Ford Motor Company, which has a local stamping and assembly plant, will take 15 percent of the power generated from the project’s first phase. Sonora80M Group already had secured 25-year power purchase agreements (PPA) with seven local municipalities: Alamos, Caborca, Splice, Etchojoa, Guaymas, Santa Ana, and Hermosillo. Martifer Solar is contracted for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and operations and maintenance (O&M) on the project.

Meanwhile, there’s an even bigger project on the horizon on 100 hectares in La Paz, Baja California: Gauss Energía’s 30-MW Aura 1, which is being referred to as the biggest solar PV project in all of Latin America. The site will incorporate 132,000 panels on single-axis trackers, with production capacity of 82 GWh/year, and it has a 20-year PPA with Mexico’s Comisioón Federal de Electricidad. Construction is slated to be completed in August 2013, with Martifer also doing the work. The company points out that Mexico’s largest operating solar project is just 5 MW, and the country’s total is just 13 MW of installed solar energy capacity.  

This article is part of our regional news briefs in the completely redesigned Renewable Energy World digital magazine. Subscribe here to recieve a free copy.

Lead image: Mexico via Shutterstock

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