Government to Fight Legal Judgement; Grants Tests to 23 PlantsBy Cas Biekmann | Thu, 05/21/2020 - 14:10
Mexico’s CENACE has ordered the reactivation of crucial preoperative tests for 23 renewable power plants after private companies had evoked the ‘writ of amparo’ to protect their legal rights in court. After initially seeming to back down and granting the renewable power plants their tests, CENACE then announced it would contest the court’s decision. Even though the 23 renewable power plants now have their path toward going online cleared, Private Sector Representative COFECE is still considering further legal action as well, reported Reuters. On the other side, the government continues to elaborate on their side of the story.
Last Friday, SENER officially published CENACE’s policy to halt the tests for renewables projects, citing that the power grid could not handle more intermittent energy. Private sector representatives decried that the policy put their investments at risk, whereas President López Obrador argued that state-owned CFE needed a more leveled playing field, pointing out that private companies had gotten away with unfair practices for too long. Through local judicial court checks on fair competition, the private clean energy companies were able to stall the measure. CENACE then allowed them the tests they needed to connect to the grid. Soon after, the government stated it would fight the decision.
Expansión reported that among the projects now in position to get the green light for their grid connection after successful tests are Recursos Solares PV de México, Akin Solar, Eólica Tres Mesas 4, Fuerza Eólica de San Matías, Fuerza Eólica del Istmo, Versalles de las Cuatas Uno, Versalles de las Cuatas Dos, Tai Durango Cuatro Neo, Eoliatec del Pacífico, Eoliatec del Istmo, Versalles de las Cuatas Tres, Mitre Calera Solar, Eléctrica del Valle de México, MexSolar XI, Kenergreen, X-Elio FV Conejos Médanos, Elio FV Xoxocotla, ENR AGS, Parque Amistad II, Parque Salitrillos, Magdalena Solar, Dolores Wind, y FRV Potosí Solar.
El Universal reported that CFE accused the federal judges who halted CENACE’s measure of putting the interests of private companies above the general interests of Mexico’s population, who need access to electricity first and foremost. Furthermore, CFE accused regulation irregularities to be the basis on which private companies managed to attain the suspension. Therefore, SENER and CFE would be preparing to fight the judgement.
In his traditional mañanera, President López Obrador elaborated further on the issue, reported La Política. The rhetoric still followed the same line of criticism against the previous government, which according to the current administration had given unfair advantages to the private sector through neoliberal policies. In comparison to his earlier, more combative tone, López Obrador stressed that the government was open to dialogue and did not want to see the situation escalate. The state, however, would not give private industry any special privileges. “We are not promoting statism but we are ending corruption that existed in the CFE,” the President said, alluding to CFE’s role in the previous government, where it acted more as a facilitator and a buyer of energy. Despite criticism on his policies reaching the international sphere, spurring concern from the European Union and Canada, López Obrador repeated that he would not give in to private interests. Concerns of private companies were never truly about Mexico’s carbon footprint, the President suggested. Furthermore, he said that the government did not wish to obstruct clean energy at all and even sought to promote it.