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Spotlight

La Ventika

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 14:00

One of Mexico’s most emblematic companies and an internationally recognized name, CEMEX, decided to invest in renewable energy, partnering with Blackstone to build a 252MW wind farm in the state of Nuevo Leon. The wind farm, known as La Ventika, began construction in 2014 and consists of two adjacent wind farms: La Ventika I and La Ventika II. These are located in Nuevo Leon in the General Bravo municipality, 56km from the US border. The wind farm has a total capacity of 252MW, with each section comprising 126MW.

Acciona was entrusted with the wind farm’s operation and maintenance in a 20-year contract. La Ventika consists of 84 of Acciona’s AW-3000 turbines with 116 meter-long rotor blades that each has a 3MW capacity. Miguel Ángel Alonso, Country Manager of Acciona Energy, says this product is perfect for the Mexican market because its height and long blades allow for the most capitalization on the trade winds in the north of the country. Another feature of this product is its ability to stand on either steel or concrete towers, with Acciona opting for 120 meter-tall concrete towers. The project also includes a 230kV substation and 14km of transmission lines that feed the generated power into the grid. The impact of the wind farm’s construction on the local economy and the creation of jobs can be seen in the opening of a manufacturing plant in the General Escobedo municipality to supply the concrete towers for the project.

The project is being carried out by Fisterra Energy, a joint venture between Blackstone, CEMEX, and other private investors. The project required investments of US$650 million, of which 75% came from debt and 25% from equity. Some of the lending parties that put forward the US$480 million include Banobras, NAFINSA, Bancomext, Santander, and the North American Development Bank, which finances renewable energy projects in the Mexico-US border region. AWS Truepower also contributed as a consultant in construction and debt financing.

The energy generated at La Ventika, which is expected to begin operations in the second quarter of 2016, will be used by FEMSA, Deacero, ITESM, and CEMEX, as agreed in the self-supply scheme approved by CRE. Additional off-takers have the possibility of joining the project in the future. According to CEMEX, the use of energy from la Ventika will allow the company to save US$15 million every year.