ACCIONA has begun the start-up of the 183-MW El Cortijo wind farm in Tamaulipas (Mexico), the first to enter service of those associated with the Energy reform in Mexico. Fifteen months after the start of construction work the company grid connected the first wind turbines, a process that will continue over the next few weeks until the commercial commissioning of the whole facility. The investment in the wind farm is around 235 million US dollars (approx. 200 million euros at current exchange rates).
El Cortijo is the result of the award to ACCIONA of 585.5 GWh of power, and the associated clean energy certificates, in the first long-term electric power auction in Mexico following the country’s Energy Reform. ACCIONA started building work on the facility in 2017, being the first company to do so for the projects awarded in the auction. The pace of construction means that the wind farm can be completed before the scheduled date.
“We are very pleased to have begun the commissioning of El Cortijo just fifteen months after starting the building work with an exemplary construction process. ACCIONA Energía always completes its projects on schedule, and we believe that this commitment to the projects awarded to it is a key factor in renewable energies developing as we all desire”, says ACCIONA México CEO Miguel Angel Alonso.
Sixty-one 3-MW wind turbines
Located 40 kilometers south of Reynosa, El Cortijo is equipped with sixty-one 3-MW rated power Nordex wind turbines (AW125/3000 model) and a rotor diameter of 125 meters, mounted on 120-meter-high (hub height) concrete towers.
The wind farm will produce electricity of renewable origin equivalent to the consumption of around 350,000 Mexican households. This will avoid the emission of more than 429,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, with a cleaning effect on the atmosphere equivalent to the photosynthesis of 21.5 million trees.
The results of the third long-term electric power auction in Mexico, published in November 2017, awarded ACCIONA 52.04 MW of guaranteed capacity from this wind farm. This is a third source of revenue for the facility, in addition to the sale of energy and clean energy certificates.
An average of 400 people has worked on ‘El Cortijo’ in the construction phase (570 at the time of highest activity).
This wind farm is the fifth under ACCIONA’s ownership in Mexico, where it has installed has a total of 740 MW: 557 MW in Oaxaca and 183 MW en Tamaulipas. The company has also installed 303 MW of wind power for third parties.
Photovoltaic complex in Sonora
ACCIONA is also building a 404-MWp photovoltaic complex in Sonora. Part of this complex –229 MWp of power- will be used to guarantee the supply of the 478.3 GWh awarded to the joint venture consisting of ACCIONA Energía and Tuto, the project owners, in the second long-term electric power auction in Mexico.
The complex will be fully operational in the first trimester of 2019, taking ACCIONA Energía’s renewable energy capacity in the country to 1,140 MW.