In a country with great potential, the Baja California solar industry can set the pace.
In order to unlock the power of the Baja California solar industry, as well as that of Mexico as a whole, rules and regulations have to be clarified.
Mexico has the potential to be a major North American producer of both solar energy, as well as the hardware and components that are required to harness it. Although states such as Sonora, Chihuahua, Jalisco and Baja California Sur are well-positioned to contribute to the industry’s growth, the Baja California solar industry is poised to take the lead in both generation and manufacturing.
Mexico already leads the Latin American pack in the area of solar power generation and manufacturing for the industry. It is expected that the production of solar power this year will triple from its current rate to reach a level of 194 megawatts. Recently, the country’s solar energy trade group, the Asociación Nacional de Energía Solar (ANES), announced that its goal is to reach a generation capacity of 3 gigawatts by 2025. The Baja California solar industry will play a critical role in the national industry’s ability to reach the goal that has been set. Among the projects announced this year, was the $279 million investment announced in April by Energy Partners Latin America. The company, an affiliate of the Idaho-based Intermountain Energy Partners, is working on the construction of a 150MW photo-voltaic plant that will bolster the Baja California solar industry in the northwestern corner of that state.
Although at this point in time, Ciudad Juarez dominates solar panel manufacturing in Mexico, Baja California solar industry related manufacturing is robust. Tijuana, in particular, is home to a diversity of world class manufacturing companies that are producing for this sector. Principal among them are:
- Solar Turbines
Because manufacturing in the Baja California solar sector extends beyond the realm of these large, major and globally-recognized firms, present and future opportunities for growth in the state’s solar supply chain growth are significant.
According to the Asociación Nacional de Energía Solar (ANES), the main impediment preventing the rapid growth of the Baja California solar industry, as well as that of the rest of the nation, is that Mexico’s state utility, the CFE or “Confederacion Nacional de Electricidad,” as well as the country’s Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) have confused both local and international firms by creating an environment in which there is a “lack of information regarding regulations and tenders.” In the opinion of the corporate director of Mexico-based PV Solutions, Juan Pablo Lopez, the CFE has yet to gain a full understanding of the Baja California solar industry, as well as that of the rest of the nation.