Mexico also aims at developing wind power

Mexico aims at installing 3,000 MW of wind energy by 2014, six times the country’s current wind turbines capacity. The target was predicted by Fernando Tejeda, president of the Latin American Wind Energy Association, based in Guadalajara (Mexico).

He specified that it’s a realistic target, considering the economic incentives that will soon be launched by the Mexican government to support this sector, including exemptions on equipment imports. Indeed, these incentives are causing heightened anticipation since up to now the state’s financial support towards renewable energy has been quite limited.

This development is mostly expected to take place in the region of Oaxaca, located in southern Mexico and resting 1,500 metres over the sea. Experts consider it one of the most suitable areas in the world for the development of wind energy, and large foreign energy groups have already shown interest towards it.

At present, 14 wind farm projects have been submitted for plants to be built in the region of Oaxaca, although only 4 of them are supported by the federal government. Specifically, only 20% of the wind power capacity planned for the future will benefit from state funding and, says Tejeda, this is the major obstacle that currently hinders the development of wind energy in this country.

As the market comes together, some of Spain’s largest energy companies are moving in. Iberia’s renewable energy giants Iberdrola, Acciona and Gamesa are leading the largest wind park initiative – the 2,000 MW Oaxaca juggernaut that is set to come online in approximately three years.

The Spanish wind turbine manufactures Acciona Windpower and Gamesa Eólica are leading the Mexican wind turbines market, but other prestigious companies like Clipper Windpower, Vestas, and Siemens have been awarded important contracts.

Another large undertaking is under way in Baja California where the Spanish electricity company Gas Natural Fenosa has teamed with US-based Sempra Energy to build two wind farms capable of generating 800 MW.

During 2010, at least five wind power plants accumulating 207 MW will be commissioned, and the implementation of wind energy in other states will begin, particularly in Baja California and Tamaulipas.

In addition, at least five wind farm projects totaling 498 MW will start construction and be commissioned during 2011. This will bring the total generation capacity to at least 1,120 MW by the end of 2011.

Investment cost for installed wind energy projects in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec are around 2,000 USD/KW (1,388 €/kW). In that region, the levelized generation price over a 20-year period is around 0.065 USD/KWh (0.045 €/kWh).