The border city of Mexicali will be home to Mexico’s first integrated solar power system and manufacturing plant, Baja Sun Energy SRL announced on Monday. The company will invest more than $500 million over the next four years to build a Concentrated PV Solar manufacturing plant, itself powered by a 10-megawatt (MW) solar farm. Located in the Silicon Border CleanTECH Park, the plant will employ more than 4,240, with groundbreaking planned for later this year.
The announcement was made in Taiwan, where Baja Sun Energy and Arima Solar executives were meeting to complete agreements that will give Arima an ownership stake in the CSP plant as well as a supplier of Concentrated Solar Photovoltaic (CSPV) technology, gallium arsenide semiconductors and other materials.
Arima will provide Baja Sun with a turnkey production line that will enable the mass production of CSPV cells, modules and dual-axis tracking systems. The plant’s Mexican employees will be trained at the Arima Eco factory in Taiwan. Some 8,000 jobs are expected to be created in total for the Baja California-San Diego Mega Region.
“Silicon Border CleanTECH Park is the perfect location for renewable energy companies. We are at the center of a huge market for solar, wind and other kinds of renewables, including the energy warehousing project we recently announced,” said DJ Hill, Silicon Border CEO.
“From our park you can reach most of the western United States in less than a day by truck. Talent and tax incentives make this location very competitive to China. Furthermore, products made here can be used for stimulus projects such as ‘Buy American’ because of the NAFTA treaty. We also have green infrastructure including water, waste treatment and LED lighting, more eco-friendly than anywhere else in North America.”
“The time is right for a Mexican solar company,” said Baja Mexico Governor Osuna, who made the trip to Taiwan. “Mexico has more sunshine per capita than most countries in the world, and it is only fitting that we start a Mexican company to capture the sun for our own use in the State of Baja California.
“The solar market is expected to grow from the currently installed 2.1 GW at the end of 2009, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, to 44 GW by 2020 in North America over the next 10 years. Mexico can be one of the world’s largest players in this process given our cost and location advantages.”