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El Porvenir Wind Farm

Posted on September 01, 2013

El Porvenir Wind Farm

"Winds of change are blowing," said Tamaulipas Governor, Egidio Torre-Cantu, at the ground breaking ceremony to kick off the construction of the El Porvenir Wind Farm in the municipality of Reynosa. This new facility,he said, "will consolidate our commitment to sustainable development." He added that wind power represents a major choice for his state and has a high priority in his administration.

The facility will be located within the "ejido" in an area covering more than 1,000 hectares, where 30 wind turbines will be installed –each with 1.8 megawatts of rated capacity– to produce 53 megawatts of energy, said Guillermo Rodriguez, director of Compañía Eólica de Tamaulipas, the firm responsible for developing the project. In his remarks at the April 3rd ceremony, Mr. Rodriguez reported that all of the electricity generated by the project, which represents 7.5% of the electricity produced by the State of Tamaulipas, will be purchased by Soriana, a firm that owns 208 stores throughout the country. He congratulated the North American Development Bank (NADB) and Banorte for structuring "the financing scheme for this project."

NADB will provide $51 million to finance the project. Some of the anticipated benefits of this project include the yearly displacement of 90,976 metric tons of carbon dioxide (equivalent to the amount of pollutant emissions released by 21,999 vehicles), 1,442.4 metric tons of sulfur dioxide, and 189.7 metric tons of nitrogen oxides.      

NADB Managing Director, Geronimo Gutierrez, said in an interview that this project is important for three reasons: first, it is the bank's first wind project in Mexico; second, because it features a fairly advanced scheme that includes co-financing with a commercial bank; and third, because  the project's terms and conditions were designed so that "it is a good deal for everyone" and it can be replicated in other renewable energy projects in Tamaulipas, a state that has great potential in the area, the binational official said.  

In his comments, Tamaulipas' new Secretary of Urban Development and the Environment, Hector Rene Salinas, said that his state contributes significantly to Mexico's energy sector and has great potential for the use of renewable energy, especially wind power, as it is among the top-three states in wind power production.    

Mexico's Secretary of Energy, Pedro Joaquin Coldwell, said this project is extremely important, not only as a source of employment and wealth, but because the National Energy Strategy "favors this type of clean energy that minimizes the harmful effects of fossil fuels." He underscored that in terms of wind energy, Tamaulipas has great potential "as it has the country's most stable air masses."

In an interview, Dolores Charles-Ramirez, a resident of Ejido El Porvenir for more than three decades, said she is grateful that this technology is coming to her community and the ejido is part of this project. She and her family are farmers and their agricultural property will be home to one of the new wind turbines. She expressed her approval because despite the magnitude of the project, they will not be affected, as they will be able to continue using the land, enjoying its benefits, and earning a living, except they now will be
accompanied by these "giants" –the wind turbines that will provide much needed help in producing energy without polluting the environment.

For BECC General Manager, Maria Elena Giner, this project is notable "as it is the first of its kind that we have been able to certify and finance on the Mexican border and it has been a great learning experience," she said. In an interview she added that to date, BECC has certified projects worth a total of more than $6 billion dollars and in particular, "in the area of renewable energy, within the last 18 months we have managed to certify and finance, along with NADB, projects representing a cost of about $2 billion dollars and 800 megawatts of installed capacity."




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