Jesús Zaldua Lasa
Chairman
Gamesa Energía Latin America
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Expert Contributor

Jesús Zaldua Lasa Games Energía Latin America

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 10:50

Gamesa has a strong position in Mexico based on local knowhow, human resources, domestic supply chain relations, knowledge of customer needs, the reliability of our products, and our ability to successfully deliver our projects. The first thing that we establish is viability. When you are putting up a wind farm, the first thing you have to do is present your track record and the performance of your technology. Secondly, we must become incredibly familiar with the conditions in which we are going to develop a wind farm. For example, the wind industry in Oaxaca has developed along the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, which has very strong wind conditions and the machines we use there are certified as Class I by international bodies. We have the right machines on the ground. We have a Class I 850kW machine and a 2MW machine with blades that are 80m in diameter. We also recently installed a Class I turbine but with blades of 87m in diameter. We have to understand the conditions, including turbulence, mountainous terrain, warm environments as well as cold climates, where ice can form on the blades. There are always certain aggressive environmental conditions that we have to adapt to. The Isthmus of Tehuantepec has seismic conditions over sandy terrain as well as the risk of flooding. It is simply a matter of engineering while using a design that is adequate for the conditions presented. You can construct buildings that shake and do not crumble during an earthquake. We are using similar technologies. If you do not take these issues into account, the project will fail.

Since all wind turbine manufacturers use the same methodology, the company with the machines that can provide the most megawatt hours for the right price will win. It is always about the combination of production and price. The particularity here is that the open season for bidding and project proposals closes. Six years ago, 2,500MW were being solicited. There has been a long development period while CFE installed all of the transmission lines from the Isthmus de Tehuantepec to the center of the country. Hopefully, with the end of the Open Season, our colleagues will see their projects up and running, and 2,500MW will come online.