Ramping up its activities south of the U.S. border, Denmark’s industry-leading wind turbine manufacturer Vestas announced it’s received an order for 28 of its V100-1.8 MW turbines, a total 50.4-MW for Mexico’s Los Altos wind farm in Jalisco. Turbine delivery is expected in 4Q, with project completion slated for 2Q 2013.
A large, diversified agricultural company, Los Altos wind farm project owner and developer REM– Regeneracion Electrica Mexicana SA de CV, known as Grupo Dragon, placed the order, the contract for which includes installation, commissioning, the installation of a VestasOnline Business SCADA system and a 10-year, AOM (Active Output Management) service and maintenance agreement, according to a Vestas press release.
“This is the second order signed with GRUPO DRAGON in Mexico within a short period of time, which shows their trust in Vestas’ technology, products, service solutions and local capabilities. We look forward to a long and valued relationship with them,” Vestas’ Mexico, Central America and Caribbean GM Adrian Katzew Corenstein commented.
Mexico: Wind, renewable energy on the rise
With an estimated annual renewable electrical energy output of 180-GWh, Los Altos is the first utility-scale wind power plant to be announced in Mexico outside of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca state, the southern Mexico region where the country, and the distance between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean, is at its narrowest.
Vestas, as well as other wind industry participants, are increasingly shifting the focus of their activities, and more resources, to Latin America given the imminent expiry of the federal wind power production tax credit (PTC) at the end of the year. Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel recently told EU leaders that U.S. wind turbine sales could plunge as much as 80% in 2013 following a rush of orders into year-end 2012 to qualify for the PTC.
Having passed climate change legislation, including renewable energy targets, early this year, Mexico’s become prime territory for renewable energy development and investment. It’s projected that the Los Altos wind farm will avoid 79,200 tons of CO2 emissions per year, while supplying clean, renewable electricity to some 380,000 people.
“We are pleased to announce this new order which confirms our strategy in developing emerging markets with huge wind potential, such as Mexico, while at the same time we contribute to achieving the Mexican Government’s goals in reducing fossil fuel consumption and its level of carbon emissions.”
Mexico’s climate change law establishes a “non-binding, unilateral goal” of reducing 2002 CO2 emissions 50% by 2050. The Mexican Energy Ministry’s 2010 National Energy Strategy sets a goal of reducing fossil fuel electrical generation to 65% by 2024, 60% by 2030 and 50% by 2050, Vestas notes. Doing so is estimated to require bringing an additional 7-GW of renewable electrical power online on top of 10-GW of renewable energy installations already planned for.
Vestas isn’t the only multinational wind turbine manufacturer doing more business in Mexico. The Latin America unit of India’s Suzlon, the world’s fifth-largest wind turbine manufacturer, in early June announced plans to invest as much as $3 billion in wind energy projects in the Baja California and Oaxaca regions.
*Photo credit: Vestas