Sunday, June 16, 2024

CFE to build 5 new power stations, connecting Baja California to national grid

Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) announced Thursday that it will build five new power plants in the state of Baja California with an investment of US $1.3 billion. All five plants will be built in the city of Mexicali, located near the border with the United States.

The CFE project will connect the northwestern state to the national power grid, and will install power line connections that share the electricity generated in Baja with the rest of the country.

The president visited Baja California on Thursday to announce the project alongside Governor Marina del Pilar and CFE Director Manuel Bartlett. (@MarinadelPilar/X)

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and CFE Director Manuel Bartlett were in Baja California on Thursday to announce the project alongside Governor Marina del Pilar.

“Mexicali will become a very important center of electricity distribution,” said Bartlett of the project.

Bartlett said three of the five power plants will be combined-cycle operations, another will be an aero-derivative gas turbine and the fifth will be an internal combustion plant.

A combined-cycle power plant uses both a gas and a steam turbine together to produce from the same fuel up to 50% more electricity than a single-cycle plant. The waste heat from the gas turbine is routed to the nearby steam turbine, which generates extra power. 

Del Pilar thanked President López Obrador in a social media post:

“Each time our president visits Baja California he brings good news … Today’s news is about connecting our state to the national power grid …an unprecedented investment to address our state’s energy demands.”

Baja California’s energy structure is different from the rest of Mexico, as it runs off of an independent electric power grid, separate from the country’s main grid system. Despite significant solar and wind potential, the state continues to rely heavily on the importation of natural gas from the United States.

The construction project will also include a high-tension line that will connect the Mexicali plants with Hermosillo Solar Park, a ground-mounted 21.56MW solar photovoltaic power project that is spread over an area of 50 hectares in the adjoining state of Sonora. This solar park is said to be among the largest solar PV power plants in Latin America.

The investment in Baja California is a step toward fulfilling López Obrador’s promise to “rescue” the CFE, which recently reported its greatest profits in 10 years

In January, the president claimed that since his term began in December 2018, his administration has invested nearly US $9.2 billion to build and renovate 35 power stations. These projects now generate 54% of the country’s electricity.

With reports from Aristegui Noticias and Forbes México

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