- CFE has announced switching on a 120 MW solar and 12 MW storage project in Mexico
- It forms phase I of 1 GW solar+192 MW battery storage plant in Sonora which is aimed at connecting isolated Baja California electrical system with the national grid
- Phase II of the facility is planned to come online by June 2024 with 300 MW solar PV and 60 MW storage capacity
Mexico’s state-owned electricity utility Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) has commissioned a 120 MW solar PV plant with 12 MW battery storage capacity in Sonora as phase I of what is planned to be 1 GW strong PV+192 MW battery project once fully ramped up becoming the ‘largest’ in all of America due to its generation capacity.
The Puerto Peñasco Photovoltaic Power Plant with its 290 km transmission network will grid connect the isolated Baja California electrical system with Mexico’s National Interconnected System.
Calling it the 1st of its kind in Mexico, CFE said phase I of the project is built by local EPC company SESELEC using 278,000 high efficiency solar panels and more than 2,500 solar trackers. It is now grid connected via Puerto Peñasco Substation.
Work on phase II of the Puerto Peñasco Photovoltaic Power Plant is already underway since September 2022 with 300 MW solar and 60 MW battery storage. It is scheduled to come online in June 2024 and electricity generated will be supplied to the communities of San Luis Río Colorado, in the state of Sonora; and Ensenada, Tecate, Tijuana and Mexicali in the state of Baja California.
Transmission lines for the entire project are to cross the desert next to the Sea of Cortez to supply solar power generated to Mexicali, for which permission was secured from the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) since the region is a World Heritage Site.
Once the 1 GW PV and 192 MW battery storage capacity is realized, the project will not only be the largest in all of America due to the battery size, but 5th worldwide, according to the CFE. Entire project will occupy 2,000-hectare of land.
“As a result of the colossal work represented by the Puerto Peñasco Photovoltaic Power Plant, Mexico will have the necessary electricity to drive economic growth in the industrial, commercial, residential, and service sectors of Puerto Peñasco, Caborca, Pitiquito, Altar, Sonoyta, and San Luis Colorado River, in the state of Sonora; as well as Ensenada, Tecate, Tijuana and Mexicali, in the state of Baja California,” stated CFE.
Mexico has an electricity system that’s majorly run on hydropower as at the end of 2021 this power generation source made up 13.3 GW of the country’s more than 30 GW renewable energy generation capacity, followed by more than 7 GW from solar PV, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
In November 2022, the country announced at COP27 its commitment to expand its renewable energy generation capacity with more than 30 GW of combined wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectric assets, reaching over 40 GW of combined wind and solar energy by 2030 (see Mexico Targets Over 40 GW Wind & Solar Capacity By 2030).