Mexican winds are driving Enel Green Power’s major investments into the federation. The company has begun construction of the Palo Alto wind farm in the state of Jalisco. Once in operation, it will have a total installed capacity of 129 megawatts and will be able to generate more than 350 GWh per year.
Palo Alto is the latest of a series of major investments in the Mexican wind energy sector for the Enel company, which started construction of the Vientos del Altiplano plant (100 MW) in the State of Zacatecas last July. The company also completed and connected the Dominica II wind farm to the grid, in addition to that of Dominica I (already operational), thus bringing the total installed capacity in the State of San Luis Potosi to 200 MW.
In Mexico, Enel Green Power currently has a total installed capacity of about 500 MW, including 446 MW from wind and 53 MW from hydro. These figures confirm the Enel Group’s key role in Mexico's transition to a low carbon energy system. The Mexican government has in fact embarked on an ambitious development plan for renewable energy, aiming to increase the share of renewable energy in the generation mix to almost twice the current amount (17 percent). Currently, 80 percent of the generation mix is composed of energy generated from fossil fuels. This will allow for a 50 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The process will be driven by wind power, whose installed capacity will grow from 2.5 GW to 9.5 GW.
The collaboration between Enel and Mexico began in 2007, with a series of investments that amount to over 1,000 million dollars in both wind energy and other sources of power generation. In 2014, it signed a memorandum of understanding with the Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas (the Mexican research institution for the electricity sector), for cooperation in geothermal generation and smart grids. The multinational power company was then selected by Pemex (Mexican public company that supplies oil and gas) to develop a 517 MW and 850 tonnes per hour of steam cogeneration plant, in cooperation with the international company Abengoa.