Iberdrola, Gamesa and Acciona planned to invest nearly $14 billion in Mexico’s energy industry between 2015 and 2018.
The government of Mexico has unveiled a strategy to lure $14bn of fresh private investment into the country’s wind energy sector in the next three years.
Energy Secretary Joaquín Coldwell said ongoing reform of Mexico’s energy market should see the $5bn invested to date in wind tripled by 2018.
The extra capital could see Mexico’s wind capacity spike from today’s 2551MW to as much as 9GW in 2018, according to reports. Six wind farms totalling 732MW will come online this year alone.
Coldwell said wind energy has a “fundamental role to play in the energy transition”, alongside key players such as Acciona, Gamesa, Iberdrola and developer Peñoles.
The minister also praised ongoing work by the Comisión Federal de Electricidad to deliver eight wind farms totalling 2.3GW of capacity in the coming years.
Coldwell said the government is taking actions to reduce bureaucracy and expand transmission capacity to connect the extra wind capacity. “Electrical interconnections, until very recently, required 47 (regulatory) steps. This has been reduced to just nine.”
The federal administration is also supporting investment in initiatives to increase the reliability of turbines and wind farms, and decrease operation and maintenance costs, Coldwell added.
Mexico expects to have an installed generating capacity of more than 9,500 MW, a level equivalent to 8 percent of total power generation in the country.
Iberdrola has plans to invest up to $5 billion in Mexico, Alvaro Portellano, director of regulatory affairs for renewable energy of the company’s Mexican subsidiary, said in a joint press conference with executives from the other firms.
Eduardo Andrade, Iberdrola’s corporate director for Mexico, told Efe that the investment will go into natural gas and renewable energies.
Hipolito Suarez, director of Gamesa for Mexico and Central America, said his firm would invest $950 million in new wind farms, $500 million in supplier development and $6 million in a service center.
“We are building three (wind) farms with a rough capacity of 2,000 MW a year, and projects for about $650 million,” Miguel Angel Alonso Rubio, Acciona’s general director, said.
As of Dec. 31, Mexico had installed generating capacity of 2,551 MW of wind power, Mexican Wind Energy Association president Adrian Escofet said.
Mexico has 31 wind farms operating in the states of Oaxaca, Baja California, Chiapas, Jalisco, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosi and Nuevo Leon, with six more under construction.
Mexico, according to a study of 16 companies by consulting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers, or PWC, and the Energy Secretariat, the country could reach 20,000 MW of efficient capacity.
A conservative goal envisions generating capacity of 12,000 MW by 2020, or about 60 percent of the power generated.
“At that level, benefits would be around $1.16 billion and some 45,000 direct and indirect jobs would be created,” Eduardo Reyes Bravo, an engineer with PWC, said.
Federal Electricity Commission, or CFE, director Enrique Ochoa Reza said Mexico must promote the diversification of energy sources to increase energy security.
“We need to use wind, water, the Sun and geothermal energy to generate electricity,” Ochoa Reza Said. “Mexico has a big potential in renewable energy and its climate and geographical location make it a privileged country.”