Spanish Utility Giant Shows Commitment to MexicoBy Cas Biekmann | Wed, 06/02/2021 - 12:24
Q: How has Iberdrola adapted its operation in Mexico as a result of the pandemic?
A: At Iberdrola México, our main priority is guaranteeing our employees’ and suppliers’ health and safety. This is why we have increased our security measures in all of our plants and offices to maximize the prevention of possible infections in our facilities.
Some of these measures include, to name a few, celebrating weekly meetings with our health committee and installing sanitary filters with temperature-measuring stations at every entrance of our plants. These safety measures are also extended to our contractors and to any other visitor.
Also, we have urged most of our collaborators, especially those considered to be population at risk, to work from home. Employees who, by the nature of their duties, must attend to one of our offices or power plants are being constantly tested for COVID-19 and are always required to wear face masks and antibacterial gel.
We have also set up a special telephone line to provide 24/7 attention to employees or their relatives diagnosed or suspected of having COVID-19.
All these actions are being reinforced through our internal communication channels so that our collaborators can have all the information they need about prevention of infections and what to do in case of testing positive to COVID-19.
Q: In what sense has the company adapted its social approach to best meet Mexico’s needs, such as with its support against COVID-19 and the ‘Lights of Hope’ program?
A: As a socially responsible company, we know that a very close collaboration with the public health authorities is needed to better face the pandemic. Therefore, we started an ambitious program of donations of medical supplies all over the country, in which we invested MX$60 million.
In 2020, we donated two million units of medical materials, such as surgical masks, antibacterial gel, ventilators, and face screens, to hospitals and public institutions in 19 states. We also donated 15,000 care packages with food and hygiene items to some of the most vulnerable families in rural communities in 11 states in Mexico.
Another of our most important social programs right now is ‘Lights of Hope’, which consists on installing solar panels in households, schools, and health centers in rural areas that do not have access to electricity. For this project, we have destined an investment of more than MX$60 million to bring electricity to over 6,000 people.
The project started in 2019 with the first stage at the Huasteca Potosina, in San Luis Potosi, where we installed solar panels on 48 households and three community centers. The implementation of the second stage of the program in this area will begin this year in March.
‘Lights of Hope’ was so well-received in San Luis Potosi that last year we decided to extend the program to Oaxaca, in the South-Southeast of the country. There we installed 95 panels in benefit of 400 inhabitants. The second stage of this project in Oaxaca will also take place later this year.
Q: How is Iberdrola fostering Mexico’s sustainable development by providing the necessary energy behind it?
A: Iberdrola is fully aligned with the Paris Agreement, with the commitment to reduce the intensity of CO2 emissions by 50 percent by 2030 and be carbon neutral by 2050.
Currently, our photovoltaic and wind farms have 1,163MW of installed capacity, which represents 11 percent of the company’s total capacity and places us among the leaders in the generation of renewable energy in the country.
With the same objective and seeking to satisfy the needs of the industry in Mexico, we developed Smart Solar, an intelligent solution, which aims to help companies have the benefits that photovoltaic systems bring within their facilities, without the need to make heavy investments required for this type of projects.
With this solution, Iberdrola México, with its own resources, designs, builds and installs the photovoltaic system on the property of the companies, and the energy generated will be used for self-consumption. In this way, companies ensure the consumption of renewable energy, avoiding the technological and financial risk associated with the implementation of this type of projects, allowing them to continue focused on their business
Q: What sets Iberdrola apart for clients in the C&I sector looking for their energy supply, either through PPAs or with the Smart Solar solution?
A: Iberdrola Mexico has been supplying electricity to the Mexican industry for more than 20 years. During this time, we have always been focused on offering competitive and environmentally friendly energy solutions, custom designed so that our clients can save on electricity and achieve their sustainability goals.
In Mexico, we have an installed capacity of more than 10,500 GW with 26 power plants located in 13 states. We supply energy to more than 3,500 clients in different industries all over the country, always offering personalized attention to adapt our services to our clients’ specific needs.
Q: How is the company progressing with the Cuyoaco project in Puebla, and what are its characteristics?
A: Cuyoaco is Iberdrola’s third PV power plant in Mexico and its first in the state of Puebla. This project is operative since last December. It has over 720,000 thousand solar panels in an area of more than 703ha, an area equivalent to putting together 390 football stadiums.
Cuyoaco has an installed capacity of 200 MW and will help reduce the emission of more than 145,000 tons of CO2 each year.
During its construction, this project generated 1,200 jobs, of which almost 40 percent were occupied by people local to this region.
As part of our commitment with the wellbeing of all the communities near our facilities, we also set in motion a social action plan to benefit the inhabitants of the area with activities such as the reconstruction and maintenance of roads, the construction and repairing of public spaces, and the impartation of workshops to help boost the work skills and education of the population.
Iberdrola is a multinational electricity utility. It is present in dozens of countries on four continents, serving around 100 million customers. In Mexico, it has 26 power plants in operation.