President López Obrador Inaugurates Puerto Peñasco Solar Plant
On Feb. 17, 2022, President López Obrador inaugurated phase one of Puerto Peñasco’s solar park in Sonora. The first stage has a projected annual electricity production of 1041.74GWh and is expected to begin commercial activity in May 2023.
During the event, president López Obrador was accompanied by CFE Director Manuel Bartlett and Alfonso Durazo, the Governor of Sonora. “Alfonso has been one of the main backers of this project, which is a breaking point in our country’s energy policy, after years of neoliberalism that sought to dismantle CFE,” the president stated.
Bartlett stressed that the first stage of the project was completed before the deadline owing to the support of CFE technicians and the collaboration of the contracted companies. Phase one will be able to supply electricity to 64,300 homes in the municipalities of Caborca, Altar, Puerto Peñasco and Sonoyta. Moreover, the second phase will cover Ensenada, Tecate, Mexicali and Tijuana upon completion.
The first stage of the project began its construction in March 2022. It has an installed capacity of 120MW and is integrated to a transmission network of 290km transmitting electricity to the National Electrical System (SEN). It is expected to begin commercial activities on May 1, 2023. According to Bartlett, the second phase will be operational in June 2024.
López Obrador celebrated that the state of Baja California will be linked to the national transmission network as an added benefit of the project. “We will achieve the reconnection of the entire national network,” he said. The project’s first stage will bring electricity to about 64,000 households while it will benefit 1.6 million people in the long run.
López Obrador said that foreign companies will be able to invest in Mexico’s energy sector but will not be prioritized at the expense of public companies. "We are not preventing foreign companies from investing in Mexico but there has to be a minimum balance between the work of private companies and CFE. We are strengthening CFE and we should celebrate that we did so before it was too late.”
The president highlighted that Puerto Peñasco is fundamental for the sustainable development of Sonora and the northern region of the country. "Mexico is doing its part to take care of the environment, to avoid pollution and nurture our renewable resources," President López Obrador said. Puerto Peñasco is poised to become the largest solar plant in Latin America and will prevent the emission of around 1.4 million t/y of CO2, which is equivalent to taking about 270,000 cars out of circulation.