CFE Plans to Deal with Potential Natural Gas Supply StoppageBy Cas Biekmann | Wed, 02/02/2022 - 15:17
CFE has revealed a new strategy that deals with the possible threat of a new winter storm in Texas, which could halt the much-needed supply of gas and cause blackouts like it did in February 2021. The state utility furthermore began to provide electricity to 400 companies following a notable permit cancellation for Iberdrola and signed a MOU with Sempra Energy.
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CFE reported a new strategy in the event of another Texas freeze, the main exporter of the utility’s essential natural gas. CFE implemented an early warning system if a shortage looms after pipelines freeze, in time for a new potential polar vortex expected to hit Texas next week. The company deems a repeat of 2021’s conditions unlikely, however.
This week, the self-supply legacy permit of Iberdrola’s Dulces Nombres power plant expired after CRE did not address the topic during its last session, effectively cancelling its permit. President López Obrador said CFE would provide electricity to the 400 companies that were supplied via the 500MW plant.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said that Mexico City’s new renewable, biomass-fired power plant has been 90 percent constructed. The power plant uses hydrothermal carbonization (HTC), which converts organic waste into gas, charcoal and pellets that can be used to capture carbon or produce power as a coal substitute. The project was developed between CFE, SENER and UNAM.
Leading Mexican wind and solar associations warn that President Andres Manuel López Obrador’s bill to reform the energy sector is driving potential investors out the country. Even if the president’s proposal does not manage to place the state in charge of the energy sector, uncertainty is already halting the flow of investment.
CRE has denied generation permits to four private power producers, Energía Sierra Juárez Holding, FP Proyectos de Energía Renovable de México, Mares Energía and Energías Renovables Valle del Mezquital.
The companies signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the development of important proposed projects, which include the Vista Pacifico gas liquefaction project, a regasification project in La Paz and the resumption of operations of the Guaymas-El Oro pipeline.
Forbes confirmed that companies sent a technical proposal to developer CFE to win the EPC contract.
A representative of grid operator CENACE said the increase of renewable energy has destabilized Mexico’s grid during the Open Parliament sessions surrounding the electricity reform proposal. The main issue is that intermittent renewable energy are not adequately located. During the session, opinions on whether the reform was needed to remedy this issue differed.
Solar technology’s excellent characteristics have successfully pushed forward distributed generation (DG) projects in Mexico. However, regulatory uncertainty, a lack of financing options and challenges in the supply chain, as well as logistics hurdles could dampen its growth. Despite the difficulties ahead, experts agree that DG solar will continue to grow next year.
Bergen Engines reported it successfully tested its B-Series gas engine to run on a blend of 85 percent natural gas and 15 percent hydrogen, without needing any adjustments. Power output was maintained completely, though harmful emissions were reduced significantly. Bergen is planning to develop a commercial solution that can accept up to 60 percent hydrogen and aims to push that number to 100 percent, meaning that the engine becomes renewable when running on green hydrogen.