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Atlas’ La Pimienta Solar Plant Is Now Fully Operational

By Eliza Galeana | Tue, 11/22/2022 - 13:54

Miami-headquartered Atlas Renewable Energy announced that the solar plant La Pimienta, located in Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche, is fully operational. The plant featured an initial investment of US$440 million and is currently the second largest solar farm in Mexico with a capacity of 300MW. 

Atlas stated that the plant will supply energy to CFE under a 15-year contract to support the power needs of the Yucatan peninsula. “This project is very special for us, as we are able to supply clean energy to the Yucatan Peninsula and avoid the emission of more than 1.7 million tons of CO2,” said Camilo Serrano, General Manager, Atlas Mexico. Additionally, Serrano commented that wind energy could also be generated in the installation at some point in the future with a type of hybrid installation.

Since 2018, the largest solar installation in the country has been the Villanueva solar park located in Coahuila and operated by Italian company Enel with a capacity of 754MW.

As a single project and not a collection of solar farms, La Pimienta boasts a sizable capacity. According to Atlas, the plant is composed of more than a million solar panels, which are spread across 651ha and will generate about 789GWh/y. This project represents the first large-scale solar energy investment in the state, with the participation of major international institutions such as the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB), National Bank of Public Works and Services (Banobras), MUFG Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and Société Générale.

Dorothy Ngutter, the US Consul General in Merida who attended the opening ceremony, said that the commitment of the Mexican government toward the energy transition pays off to the benefit of Mexico, the US and the planet. In this regard, Serrano highlighted Atlas’ efforts to promote social and environmental programs and contribute to the well-being of the surrounding communities while preserving the local ecosystem. 

During the execution of La Pimienta, Atlas implemented diverse socio-environmental programs. Atlas' flagship program "We Are All Part of the Same Energy" trained 355 local women in technical skills and hired 165 of them, ensuring 15 percent of the workers were women during the construction of the project. Furthermore, Project Carmen, a healthcare program implemented by Atlas in alliance with the local health authorities, oversaw the construction, rehabilitation and provision of equipment for two health centers in nearby communities. In addition, the company installed dry bathrooms and wood-saving stoves for over 40 families. 

The company furthermore implemented a flora and fauna preservation program and enhanced a natural corridor within the plant to improve the habitat of local species. Moreover, to compensate for the environmental impact of the solar farm, Atlas has committed to reinserting local fauna that was rescued during the construction of La Pimienta. The company will also carry out a 450-ha reforestation program, expecting to plant 100,000 trees.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Mexico News Daily, PRNewswire
Eliza Galeana Eliza Galeana Junior Journalist & Industry Analyst