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Mexico confirms tender results with 2.8GW of new solar and PV

Mexico has confirmed the 23 winners of the country’s second clean energy tender, under which developers will invest an expected $4bn over the next three years to build 36 new power plants – among them 2.8GW of new wind and solar capacity.

The winners featured Mexican and foreign firms, including companies such as Spain’s Acciona Energy and Iberdrola, Italy’s Enel, British investment fund Actis – through its local unit Zuma Energia – France’s Engie and IEnova, among others.

State power CFE offered 15-year PPAs for 8.9TWh a year starting in 2018, and will buy another nine million energy certificates (CELs).

Of the total PPAs, 54% were solar, 43% were wind and the rest geothermal. Of the CELs sold, 53% came from solar projects, 41% from wind projects, and the rest from geothermal and hydro.

Prices were 30% lower than the previous auction, coming in at $33/MWh on average, said Mexico energy secretary Joaquín Coldwell.

“We are trailing the correct path and our country is becoming a reference in good energy practices among other countries in Latin America,” he said.

Coldwell announced that a new tender will begin by 30 April 2017. For the first time, it could allow private companies to buy power alongside CFE.

According to Cesar Ochoa, under-secretary of electricity, the next tender will guarantee that 3.2% of CFE's power needs will come from clean energy.

Ochoa said that tenders held this year were the concrete result of recent energy sector reforms, which opened Mexico’s market to private investment.

He compared the tenders favourably with Mexico’s efforts to introduce renewables before the reforms. In one year, about 5GW of wind and solar capacity has been contracted.

“In nine months we practically doubled what we contracted over the last 20 years,” he said.