Sempra Energy Installs Solar Projects in MexicoBy Antonio Trujillo | Mon, 09/27/2021 - 11:44
Sempra Foundation is donating US$200 million to install five solar projects in Mexican communities.
San Diego-based Sempra Foundation, founded in 2007 by Sempra Energy, a renowned infrastructure and electricity company, announced last week that they were partnering with Oakland-based nonprofit GRID Alternatives to contribute over US$200 million to install solar projects on community buildings and off-grid solar projects in Mexico, with an estimated 40 families benefiting from these installations. Just last month, GRID Alternatives completed its first solar project, located at a health center, in Tijuana, Baja California. .
“We believe that access to resilient, affordable and clean energy is critical to advancing a just and prosperous world,” said Lisa Alexander, Director and Board Chair of Sempra Foundation, highlighting the projects’ intention to help improve energy access for vulnerable communities, with “environmental justice concerns” at the center of their strategy in the country. Furthermore, she added that “energy access is crucial to health, economic growth and prosperity, and we are proud to support a portfolio of projects that are expected to result in affordable, cleaner energy for those in need.”
These five solar projects in the country are only part of Sempra Foundation’s plans for Mexico, which consists of a “broader commitment to help improve lives and build stronger, more resilient communities by expanding energy access.” Both companies, Sempra Foundation and GRID Alternatives, scouted communities in need of energy assistance, finally finding them in the state of Baja California. Seven communities were chosen to house these projects , which, amongst others, house two orphanages, a health center, a migrant center, two indingenous residential communities, and a homeless auspice, which also welcomes people with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
Jenean Smith, GRID Alternative’s Senior Director of International Programs, affirmed that they are “excited to work with Sempra Foundation on these important solar projects to help improve access to reliable electricity and reduce the burden of energy costs for organizations that are doing critical work in Mexico,” referring to the communities’ various aid and help centers. “We are also providing hands-on training for local students pursuing clean energy careers, as pandemic safety protocols allow,” she concluded. Currently, 60 students, half of whom are women, are enrolled in these courses.
According to Sempra Foundation, more than 10 million Mexican residents “live without access to reliable electricity,” and the foundation’s solar installations are expected to reach a 68 kW of grid-tied solar capacity. Furthermore, an estimated 1,930 tons of greenhouse gas emissions will be avoided with their functionality.
Sempra Energy’s subsidiary in Mexico, IEnova, was recently unlisted from the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV) following Sempra's full acquisition of the former. IEnova petitioned CNVB for the cancellation of registration of their shares in full last September 13, about three days after Sempra announced the completed transaction.