CFE Modernizes Mexico City Metro’s Electric SystemBy María José Goytia | Fri, 04/22/2022 - 17:19
Part of a coordinated effort to implement energy efficiency solutions in public transportation systems, Mexico City’s government and CFE announced a joint initiative that will modernize the power supply system of Metro Lines 1, 2 and 3. The project, called Metro-Energy, aims to mitigate the risk of service interruptions caused by power supply failures and reduce electricity costs by creating the Buen Tono High-Voltage Substation.
According to Guillermo Nevárez, Director, CFE Distribution, Mexico City’s Metro System is burdened with a yearly electricity consumption bill of MX$1.9 billion (US$94.2 million). The modernization of the electric system for the three lines that form the backbone of the Metro would save 13 percent in electricity consumption, equivalent to MX$250 million (US$12.3 million) annually.
Guillermo Calderón, the Director of the Metro, pointed out that the new electrical substation will produce 240MW, a supply equivalent to the capacity required by a city like Villahermosa, Tabasco. In addition, Calderón mentioned that the development has already progressed for 37 percent regarding civil works and a 26 percent in terms of electromechanical works.
The Metro-Energy project includes the manufacturing and commissioning of protection, control, metering and wiring equipment, via the installation of 74 circuit breakers, four bank switching systems and four 60MVA transformers, among other components. The transformers and the sulfur hexafluoride-encapsulated electrical substation will be constructed inside a separate building. The works were deemed necessary following a fire in Jan. 2021 that was caused by a short circuit in a transformer, leading to one death and 30 hospitalizations due to smoke inhalation.
During a visit, Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum highlighted that the local government is making a historic investment of around MX$45 billion (US$2.23 billion) in the city's Metro System, with the aim to boost its modernization after 53 years of operation. Sheinbaum highlighted that the Metro’s entire Line 1 is also up for modernization. Furthermore, the control system of Lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 will be replaced and Line 12’s west wing extension is nearly completed, together with an integral restoration of the line following a disastrous collapse in May 2021. Likewise, the connection of the new electrical substation to CFE's transmission points at Nonoalco and Jamaica is nearly finished.
The support of Sheinbaum’s administration to CFE goes hand in hand with her support for President López Obrador’s strategy to strengthen the state utility. As such, most of Mexico City’s energy projects have handed to CFE, like the construction of the solar plant on top of Mexico City’s Central Market and a biomass-fired power plant at Bordo Poniente.