NEXTracker is living the adage “Go big or go home” with its recent deal to supply single-axis tracking solutions to a 750 MW solar plant in northern Mexico – the largest plant in the Western Hemisphere.
The plant is expected to be commercially operable by the middle of next year. To date, the plant has received 200 MW of racking, with more to come under a long-term contract the company has signed with the racking provider
“It is with a sense of pride that we are witnessing in Mexico the installation of the largest solar power plant in the Western Hemisphere,” said Israel Hurtado, general secretary of ASOLMEX, the Mexican version of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “The unprecedented scale of this plant, combined with local manufacturing, solar job development and industry leading technology represents a huge boost to help us reach a 35% renewable energy target by 2024.”
Covering an area approximately as big as lower Manhattan, the 750 MW will produce 1,700 gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy per year, which will remove more than 780,000 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. It will produce enough electricity to power 1.3 million Mexican households – or nearly 15% of the population of the capital, Mexico City.
Thanks to an aggressive schedule set by the country’s energy ministry, which recently awarded more than 4 GW of solar projects,Mexico’s solar market is expected to grow rapidly over the next few years. Fortunately for NEXTracker, high insolation rates and ideal land conditions make most of the utility-scale projects ideal candidates for tracking systems. Most of the utility-scale projects slated for 2017-2018 in Mexico favor solar tracking due to high insolation and ideal land conditions.
“Mexico, along with India, Australia and the Middle East is part of a new wave of renewable energy markets poised for significant growth over the next few years,” said NEXTracker CEO Dan Shugar. “Much of that growth will be supported by single-axis solar tracking technology. With our local manufacturing program, local engineering design expertise and an office in Mexico City, this project has our full support.”
NEXTracker will manufacture a range of structural, mechanical and electrical components locally for this project.