Image credits: Mark Merner
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News Article

Chihuahua Moves Toward Renewable Energy

By Paloma Duran | Fri, 01/08/2021 - 14:41

The Director of Energy of the Ministry of Innovation and Economic Development in Chihuahua, Jorge López Uranga, reported that the state currently has 10 photovoltaic parks in operation where the state government has invested around US$1 billion. Additionally, there are 14 solar and wind projects currently in construction.

Héctor Olea, President of the Mexican Association of Solar Energy, told MBN that the development of the solar energy sector at the national level has represented US$8.85 billion in direct investment and has generated more than 65,000 jobs throughout the value chain. Olea emphasized these investments have been achieved through Distributed Solar Generation (DSG), also known as solar roofs. Nuevo Leon, State of Mexico, Chihuahua, Mexico City and Jalisco are the entities with the largest DSG installed capacity.

The first solar park in Chihuahua was constructed in 2014 and since then, the state has developed 10 additional parks. Moreover, Chihuahua has solar farms in the municipalities of Ahumada, Camargo, Jimenez, Ascension, Galeana and Juarez, which deliver energy to CFE and other larger consumers in the electricity market.

According to the Chihuahua government, the symmetry of its fields and the weather allow a better generation of solar energy. In a press release, the government reported that after the launch of the second solar project, investment in renewable energies increased to US$45 million.

Uranga said that renewable energies are essential to comply with international environmental agreements and to increase the national energy security. Currently, there are 13 solar and one wind projects that are in the development stage. The government expects that the solar projects in Villa Ahumada, Juarez, Guerrero, Cuauhtemoc, Galeana and Delicias will generate 2,000MW, reported El Diario de Chihuahua.

Uranga said that this year, the construction of the 30MW solar project in the municipality of Cuauhtemoc will commence. The government is still discussing its construction and expects it to be completed in 2023. Meanwhile, the wind project will have a potential of 300MW in the municipality of Nuevo Casas Grandes and is currently in the planning and development stage.

Recently, CFE blamed renewable energy for causing the energy imbalance that left 10.3 million Mexican households without electricity on Dec. 28. CFE’s Communication Director Luis Bravo said that as a preventive measure during low demand, CENACE will be forced to take part of the intermittent renewable generation out of operation to ensure the reliability of the national system, reported MBN.

Riccardo Bracho, Finance Specialist and Senior Manager at National Renewable Energy Laboratory, said there are many myths that aim to misinform how renewable energies work, however. He said people think that the energy depends on factors such as climate and the time of day. However, these do not cause intermittency because nowadays there are forecasts and technologies that explain and prevent these variabilities, reported PV Magazine.

Uranga said the problems presented by CFE can be solved. Uranga explained that there are several techniques that prevent these situations, such as hybrid renewable projects, which consist of putting a small backup plant of natural gas to support intermittency. Uranga emphasized that Chihuahua has a network of six large gas pipelines that facilitate the implementation of hybrid renewable projects, reported El Diario de Chihuahua.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
MBN, El Diario de Chihuahua, PV Magazine, Gobierno de Chihuahua
Photo by:   Mark Merner
Paloma Duran Paloma Duran Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst