Mexico set to add 5GW of renewable capacity by 2019

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Mexico will add 5GW to its installed solar and wind capacity by 2019 as a result of the two electric power auctions held last year, according to the energy ministry.

Speaking during the handing over of contracts to the winners of the auctions held last March and September, energy minister Pedro Joaquín Coldwell said the tenders serve as effective mechanisms to promote long-term investment in the sector for the construction of new power plants.

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A total of 34 companies from 12 countries will build power stations under the contracts in 15 of Mexico's 32 states over the next five years, investing US$6.6bn, he said.

Mexico will launch its third electric power auction in April.

The prices achieved in the second auction were among the lowest in the world, and were 30% lower than those achieved in the first auction, Coldwell said.

The average offers in the September auction, which was dominated by solar projects, was US$33.47/MWh.

Meanwhile, the short-term wholesale electric power market, which was launched at the beginning of last year, now functions with six companies, five of which are private and the other is state utility CFE, while more are set to join up which will increase competition, the minister said.

CFE chief executive Jaime Hernández Martínez highlighted the positive results for the utility in the second auction, which was awarded two power generation contracts in a sign that it can successfully compete in the new market.

Details of the third auction will be released on April 28 and the winners will be announced by October 16 at the latest, according to the head of national energy control center Cenace, Eduardo Meraz Ateca.