To properly target Mexico’s growing southeast region, CFE is planning to build a new transmission line in Quintana Roo as part of its National Electricity System Modernization Program. The project, called “Playa del Carmen-Chankanaab II,” involves the construction of a high voltage transmission line with an underwater section between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel, which, according to the commission, will strengthen the power supply to the island of Cozumel.
“The goal of the project is to satisfy the current and future energy demand, guaranteeing security and reliability in the provision of the energy service, thus avoiding electricity shortages in the area, caused by the collapse of the electrical grid,” said the utility.
CFE has already sent the required documents for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and is now waiting for approval. According to the EIA, the project will have a length of 30.1km and an energy capacity of 115kV. Regarding investment, CFE stated that the project will have an approximate cost of MX$750 million (US$37.7 million): MX$712.5 million (US$35.8 million) will be destined to its construction, MX$30 million (US$1.5 million) to indemnification and MX$7.5 million (US$377,700) to mitigation and compensation measures.
The transmission line is planned to be built in 3 sections: the first will be an underground section of 4km in Playa del Carmen, the second will be submarine (across the Caribbean Sea) with a length of 18.9 km and the third one, located in Cozumel, will run 7.5km underground.
CFE assures that the project is designed to have a minimal environmental impact. Furthermore, the project will follow all established programs, conditions and applicable regulations to avoid environmental deterioration. In addition, monitoring programs will be established for both the biological system and the physicochemical conditions of the marine system during the operational phase. Likewise, verification and maintenance programs for the electrical transmission line will be set up to safeguard the electrical infrastructure.
If SEMARNAT approves the project, the commission estimates a maximum period of three years for construction activities and a useful life of 25 years, which will benefit around 81,000 inhabitants of the island of Cozumel