In the opening ceremony Acciona President José Manuel Entrecanales emphasized his company’s commitment to the sustainable development of Mexico.
Mexican President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa yesterday inaugurated the Oaxaca II, III and IV wind parks, owned by Acciona. They represent the biggest wind power complex in Latin America, with an operating capacity of 306 MW. The Mexican head of state was accompanied by ACCIONA President José Manuel Entrecanales, who reaffirmed his company’s commitment to the sustainable development of Mexico and the country’s renewable energy targets.
Acciona is the leading wind power company in Mexico with 556.5 MW distributed over four wind parks -the three mentioned above and Eurus (250.5 MW)-, representing 65% of the country’s operating capacity. They are all located in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (Oaxaca), an area with high wind resources.
ACCIONA completed the assembly of the 204 wind turbines that make up these installations in September 2011; they all have a capacity of 1.5 MW and are manufactured with ACCIONA Windpower technology. From October to December last year they were powered up and gradually connected to the electric power grid, and started commercial operation in early 2012.
The Mexican Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), which awarded ACCIONA the contract for the construction and operation of the three wind parks in March 2010, estimates an average annual production of 1,129 million kilowatt-hours from them. This represents the energy consumption of 700,000 Mexican homes and will avoid the emission of 670 million tones of CO2 to the atmosphere a year, equivalent to the cleaning effect of 33.5 million trees through the process of photosynthesis.
Acciona Energy already has a 250.5-MW wind farm in Mexico -Eurus- that has been in service since 2009; it supplies electricity to the plants of the cement company Cemex in Mexico. The company is also working on other renewable development projects, both for itself and other customers, so it expects to boost its already strong presence in the country.
J.M. Entrecanales: "Renewables are an excellent option for Mexico"
In his speech in the opening ceremony ACCIONA President José Manuel Entrecanales reiterated his company’s commitment to sustainable development in Mexico in key sectors such as infrastructure, water and energy, and its willingness to contribute to the government’s efforts to diversify the country’s energy system.
"We believe that renewables are an excellent option for Mexico. This country has great energy resources based on clean and renewable sources such as the wind and the sun, and it can make use of them to create an attractive energy system with fewer emissions that can create wealth, added value, and jobs in the country," said José Manuel Entrecanales.
Mr. Entrecanales announced Acciona was establishing a non-profit association called Acciona Microenergía México. This association aims to bring electricity to isolated rural communities that have not been included in any electrification plan. ACCIONA is working closely with the Energy Secretariat of Mexico (SENER), the Government of Oaxaca, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), the National Works and Public Services Bank (BANOBRAS) and other Public Administration bodies to make this objective a reality.
New Community Center
Mr Entrecanales, accompanied by Acciona Energy President Carmen Becerril, the Director of Acciona México, Guillermo Jiménez Michavila, and the Director of Acciona Energy Mexico, Miguel Angel Alonso, also visited a new community center in La Venta, located in the area of the wind farms.
The community center has been promoted by Acciona as part of its community investment plan in Oaxaca. The center is the focus of a number of social welfare projects carried out by the company with people from the region -most of whom belong to the Zapotec ethnic group- including programs for reforestation, encouraging traditional forms of production, education and vocational training, the improvement of local infrastructure and the promotion of self-employment initiatives.
Other ACCIONA activities in Mexico
In addition to its Energy business, Acciona is present in Mexico with its infrastructure, water and real estate divisions.
In Infrastructure, the company has built six hospitals in recent years; it built and operates under concession the new campus of the Universidad San Luis de Potosí; it is putting the final touches to the viaducts at Champotón (in the state of Campeche) and has won a contract to extend the port of Salina Cruz (Oaxaca), among other projects. For its part, the company’s real estate arm is developing a residential complex in Acapulco, and in the area of water supplies water division, the company is building -together with other companies- a waste water treatment plant at Atotonilco that will be the biggest in the world.
By José Santamarta, www.evwind.com