San Carlos Wind Farm Part of Acciona’s 1Q2021 ConsolidationBy Cas Biekmann | Wed, 05/12/2021 - 09:12
Spanish energy and infrastructure giant Acciona reported a positive 1Q2021, with US$2 billion approximate revenues, up 5.5 percent compared to 1Q2020. A significant part of the company’s growth is its expanding renewable energy business, including San Carlos Wind Farm located in Mexico
Acciona’s EBITDA reached US$440.5, up 11.5 percent compared to the first part of last year. The company reports that energy has been the main driver of these profits, responsible for 22.1 percent of the total sum. As such, Acciona shows a bullish approach regarding renewable energy investments. After a 2020 hit by the pandemic, the company is greatly increasing its investments by setting aside over US$1.5 billion. Of this amount US$924 million will go toward energy projects, reported the company. In addition, Acciona has 1,885MW under construction or ready to build.
319MW of renewable power was added to the company’s renewable portfolio during this first trimester. Additions to the San Carlos wind farm amount to 53MW of the total. According to Acciona, San Carlos is a 198MW-total wind farm located in the San Carlos municipality of Tamaulipas. The project features 60 Acciona windpower turbines of 3.3MW, each with 132m diameter rotors and 120m high concrete towers. Albert Sunyer, Country Manager Mexico of The Nordex Group, which has merged with Acciona, explained the benefits of these towers in a recent MBN interview: “We use mostly concrete towers instead of steel. We have a standard tower height of 120m, which is very competitive in pricing because concrete is cheaper than steel and just as efficient. By operating a local manufacturing facility in Mexico, we can bring down costs even further,” he said.
Acciona owns seven wind farms in Mexico, representing 881MW to their portfolio. The company’s only photovoltaic solar plant contributes 405MW. The company reports that the San Carlsos wind farm has signed several power purchase agreements (PPAs) with private clients in Mexico. The wind farm powers 392,000 homes, avoiding the annual emission of about 421,339 tons of CO2 in coal plants, which is still a feature in Mexico’s energy mix. Furthermore, Acciona implemented a social approach focused on improving infrastructure such as school facilities and waste recycling.
Even though renewable developers are still adding MWs of capacity to their portfolios based on projects-initiated years ago, industry experts say Mexico’s project development is hitting a slump. Even though private companies have thus far been successful in finding legal protection against government measures disadvantaging their projects to the favor of state-owned utility CFE, the calm and stable environment needed to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in separate energy projects has deteriorated.