The construction of the Sureste I – Phase I wind farm in the Mexican state of Oaxaca has begun, adding even more capacity to EGP’s operations in a country where it already had 144 megawatts online.
Enel Green Power is helping wind power grow in Mexico, with 2014 forecasted to be a year of new developments which will see an almost doubling of current installed capacity. The 144 megawatts generated by the two Bii Nee Stipa facilities will be added to by the Sureste I – Phase I wind farm, which has 34 turbines that can produce up to 390 gigawatt-hours per year.
The opening of EGP’s new sitein the state of Oaxaca, which took place on 12 November, is a step forward for the business in Mexico, which will also build another wind farm in the State of San Luis Potosí. Sureste I will cost $160million, while $196million has been allocated for the latter facility, showing the extent of the growth and investment made by EGP as part of the Enel Group’s 2013-2017 business plan.
For Mexico, renewable energy is a part of important government targets while also being seen as key for development. The country is hoping green energy will help cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020 and satisfy 35 percent of domestic energy demand by 2024. Hydropower presently accounts for about 78 percent of renewable energy production, followed by geothermal power with 14 percent. However wind and solar power could bring an increase in quality of the production of zero emission energy, and the Federal Electricity Commission has already announced that it will invest in infrastructure precisely to increase both energy efficiency and production of clean energy.
The wind power market in Mexico has an estimated potential of more than 20 gigawatts and the strong wind in some areas of this country, such as Oaxaca, where EGP has already put into service the two Bii Nee Stipa plants, enables a capacity factor of 50 percent, far higher than the European average of about 30 percent.
EGP’s growth in Latin America is not limited to Mexico but involves seven countries and an installed capacity of 990MW, including 90MW of wind power capacity in Chile and 24MW in Costa Rica. The company has also already begun construction of five wind farms in Brazil totalling 283MW and two in Chile with a combined capacity of 189MW.