Wind: Mexico’s Renewable Energy of Choice

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Some would associate Mexico with sun and beach, therefore fertile ground for a thriving solar energy sector. However, wind is Mexico’s most mature renewable energy sector.

Proof of this is the latest investment of $700 million in the Marena Renovables project in Mexico’s Isthmus de Tehuantepec in Oaxaca. According to a Macquarie Mexican Infrastructure Fund (MMIF) press release, the 396 MW wind energy project is under development since March 2012. The project is expected to reach completion by the end of the year.

The Marena Renovables wind farm is being financed by a syndicate of commercial banks, including Banorte, BBVA Bancomer, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, HSBC and Santander, as well as development banks that include the Inter-American Development Bank, Banco Nacional de Obras y Servicios Públicos (“Banobras”), and Nacional Financiera (“Nafinsa”).

“We are pleased to have completed the financing for this Project and look forward to starting construction,” said Jonathan Davis Arzac, Executive Chairman of MMIF. “This Project, which marks the first renewable energy investment in MMIF’s portfolio, is expected to be the largest single-stage wind farm in Latin America when complete.”

The wind farm’s location, the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, is regarded as having the best wind-resources in Mexico and as one of the world’s windiest regions.

“It is estimated that the area alone has the energy potential between 5,000 and 7,000 MW with a plant output of 45%, while the international average varies between 25% and 35%,” said Rafael Carmona, Principal Analyst at GreenMomentum and CEO of Impulso Verde 2.0, a market intelligence firm that specializes in Mexico’s renewable energy and cleantech sectors.

“Transmission capacity is still one of the main concerns for many wind developments, especially in the northwest region where exports to California represent a very attractive market.”

Companies like Coca-Cola, Heineken, and the convenience-store chain OXXO have already jumped on the bandwagon, announcing that their Mexican operations will use energy from Marena Renovables.

The wind farm is a joint project developed by Macquarie Mexican Infrastructure Fund, Mitsubishi Corporation and Dutch pension fund, PGGM.

Photo credit to: Macquarie Group


Veronica French is an American-Bolivian professional living in Mexico City. She is a freelance writer and web consultant, as well as a marketing and business analyst for GreenMomentum, Inc., a cleantech consulting firm and startup accelerator based in Mexico City and Silicon Valley. She enjoys researching and writing about Mexico’s growing sustainability movement and innovation in clean technology. Topics that also pique her interest are science, technology, religion, human rights and culture.

Follow Veronica on Twitter @veronicafrenchy 


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