The El Cortijo wind farm, owned by Spain-based Acciona, just became the first energy installation––conventional or not––to enter commercial operation within the framework of Mexico’s Wholesale Electricity Market (MEM). The plant is also the first to go into service from those awarded in the auctions under the new Energy Reform.
El Cortijo, a 183-MW-capacity wind farm located in Tamaulipas, was built as a result of the energy and clean energy certificate awarded in the first long-term electric power auction organized under the Mexico’s Energy Reform. Additionally, the wind farm was awarded power guarantee to the system in the third auction. After a construction period of just 15 months, El Cortijo began its commissioning phase––just completed––in mid-June this year.
“We are very pleased that an Acciona wind farm is the first energy facility of any technology to make its full entry into commercial service under the new Wholesale Electricity Market in Mexico, and that it is also the first renewable plant awarded in long-term auctions to complete its start-up. This reflects our company’s commitment to finish its projects on schedule, something we consider essential for the development of renewable energies in Mexico”, said Acciona Energía México CEO Miguel Angel Alonso in a statement.
Located 40 kilometers south of Reynosa, El Cortijo will produce electricity of renewable origin equivalent to the consumption of 350,000 Mexican homes. The energy produced there will avoid the emission of over 429,000 tons of CO2 to the atmosphere every year, with a cleaning effect on the atmosphere similar to 21.5 million trees through the process of photosynthesis.
The wind farm is equipped with sixty-one 3-MW rated power Nordex wind turbines. An average of almost 400 people worked in the construction phase (570 at times of highest activity).
El Cortijo is the fifth wind farm under Acciona’s ownership in Mexico, with a total of 740 MW installed––557 MW in Oaxaca and 183 MW in Tamaulipas. The company has also installed 303 MW of wind power capacity for third parties.
Acciona is also building a 404-MWP photovoltaic plant in Sonora that will come on stream fully in the first trimester of 2019.