MEXICO CITY – Spain’s Acciona Energia said on Thursday that it has completed the assembly of a more than 1-million-panel solar plant in the northern Mexican state of Sonora.
The 404.57 MWp Puerto Libertad photovoltaic (PV) plant will enter into service in the first quarter of 2019 after 1,072,909 panels were installed in a period of just two months, a construction milestone for this type of facility.
“In ‘Puerto Libertad’ we have achieved very efficient working practices born of our experience in previous projects, and this has enabled us to complete the assembly of the plant in record time,” ACCIONA Energia Mexico CEO Miguel Angel Alonso was quoted as saying in a press release.
With the assembly of the plant, whose total planned capital expenditure amounts to $349 million, Acciona’s total installed capacity in Mexico has now risen to 1,144 MW (the other 739.5 MW consisting of wind power).
The plant in the Sonoran Desert is owned by a joint venture in which Acciona and Mexico’s Tuto Energy each hold 50 percent stakes.
Construction of the plant provided employment for an average of 600 people, with more than 1,300 workers employed during times of peak activity.
Once fully operational, the plant will provide stable employment for 38 people.
Puerto Libertad will produce around 963 gigawatt-hours of energy annually, sufficient to meet the electricity needs of 583,000 Mexican households.
The renewable energy produced by the plant will avoid the annual emission of 925,443 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by coal-fired power stations, providing a cleaning effect for the atmosphere greater than that of 46 million trees.
With the assembly of Puerto Libertad, Acciona has more than doubled the PV capacity under its ownership worldwide.
The company also has similar plants in Chile, South Africa, Portugal and Spain.
Acciona plans to increase its total solar capacity to more than 1,000 MWp in 2019 with the construction of PV plants in two other countries – Egypt and Ukraine.