by Adina Moloman
Renewable energy used for the generation of electricity has not reached its potential in Mexico. Hydroelectric and geothermal energy have been Mexico’s most popular renewable sources, but not until Mexico unveiled its climate change objectives renewable projects are on the way.
Baja California has shows its commitment with the national climate plan and recently announced a big investment in the renewable sector consisting in building and implementation of a 150 MW photovoltaic project in Mexicali, Baja California. Up to $300 million dollars will be invested for new solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, announced Energy Partners of Latin America SAPI de C.V, according to SEDECO. The main target audience for the new solar systems is for the use of the Mexico Maquiladora plants doing their manufacturing in Mexico and can save up to 15% on their utility bills if they switch to solar power.
About 1,025 construction jobs will be created during the construction phase, which is estimated to start by the end of 2015. A big boost to the local economy is expected representing $ 142 million dollars in transactions with local suppliers.
Using the electricity created by the solar plant rather than fossil fuels will prevent the generation of about 270,000 tons of CO2 annually, said SEDECO. It will also not produce air pollution similar to coal power plants.
This will be the biggest photovoltaic plant in Mexico. So far Baja California had supported smaller-scale photovoltaic projects, consisting in providing electricity to rural communities do to its large distance to the electric grid. Some other applications are for farms for water pumps and for schools but also for telecommunications, refrigeration and water heaters at a more extension scale.
The renewable energy market will see strong growth in Baja California since Mexicali valley has plenty of sunlight and acceptance to more sustainable and less cost energy is being adopted by the industry sectors.