Alten Energías Renovables Faces Scrutiny Over Delayed Solar Plant
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Alten Energías Renovables Faces Scrutiny Over Delayed Solar Plant

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Karin Dilge By Karin Dilge | Journalist and Industry Analyst - Tue, 10/10/2023 - 04:25

The Spanish company Alten Energías Renovables has yet to make progress in building its 300MW solar plant in Puebla, despite obtaining a generation permit in 2019. This information was revealed by Commissioner Walter Jiménez from CRE, who stated that he personally visited the proposed site and found no construction activity whatsoever. 

Jiménez expressed his disapproval of Alten Energías Renovables México Siete's repeated use of the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse for project delays. Instead of investing in the necessary infrastructure, Jiménez noted that the company has allocated resources to legal battles against the federal government's energy policies.

The matter was brought up due to a request to modify the construction schedule, which was approved during CRE’s session. Alten had put forth a similar request in 2021, which was rejected by CRE. Operations for the solar plant are now expected to commence in 2026, according to Jiménez. 

Commissioners Luis Linares Zapata and Norma Leticia Campos echoed Jiménez's concerns and urged CRE President Leopoldo Vicente Melchi García to enhance supervision and regulation to ensure that permit holders are held accountable for failing to meet their commitments. Melchi García affirmed that the regulator will closely monitor the case.

According to Alten's official website, the Puebla plant is currently under construction, with funding coming from a 50% investment by the Japanese firm Sojitz Corporation and 50% from Alten's own resources, some of which were secured from local and international development banks. The company states that it is developing a 300MWp photovoltaic power plant in the state of Puebla with an investment of approximately US$220 million. The energy and clean energy certificates generated will be marketed through bilateral purchase contracts and through sales in the market.

The installation is expected to generate around 700GWh per year of clean energy, equivalent to the approximate electricity supply for a population of over 350,000 residents, preventing 315,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.

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