STORY INLINE POST
The combined cycle powerplant located in the Huexca community of Morelos, has been nothing short of a real headache to multiple Mexican governments. Fraught by juridical issues brought on by locals concerned about water pollution, the project had not made much progress since its inception in 2011. Nevertheless, President López Obrador is fast-tracking the project and promised to have it operational by the end of 2020.
During his daily morning press conference, the president assured that juridical issues with the communities had been fully resolved. The project, with an investment of MX$20 billion (US$940 million), represents a major benefit for the community, argues the president. In addition, it could provide electricity to 80 percent of Morelos, while staying below legal limits regarding emissions.
When the president visited the community in February 2020, he stressed the importance of the project. “If this plant does not operate, we would have to buy energy from private, foreign companies. I say this with complete clarity so that those who wave the flags of opposing the plant, even for ideological reasons, also take this element into consideration,” said López Obrador. The local community would benefit from stable energy generation at very low prices. He further suggested that the people opposing the power plant were radicals and that the government would listen to the community instead.
Resolving these legal issues did not always seem so clear. La Jornada reported that both ejidos and citizens of the community had managed to suspend construction of the project via amparos. A consultation led 40.5 percent of participants voting against the project. The main concern was that CFE would dump contaminated water into the Cuautla river. With amparos no longer in effect, federal officials assured they would continue to communicate with the community to resolve the issue.
Head of CFE Manuel Bartlett pointed out that Morelos is one of the Mexican states completely reliant on outside energy generation. He further indicated that all issues regarding possible contamination had been dealt with, as the construction of an aqueduct means no water from the Cuautla river will be taken. The power plant is expected to produce its first electricity at the end of 2020. The Huexca power plant represents 642MW of capacity and relies on natural gas to power its turbines.