Mexico’s largest PV installation comes online to serve as ‘test site’

  • The Cerro Prieto project will serve as a “test site” to determine which technologies and equipment are most suited to the Mexican climate. Image: SPG Solar.
    The Cerro Prieto project will serve as a “test site” to determine which technologies and equipment are most suited to the Mexican climate. Image: SPG Solar.

The 5MW Cerro Prieto solar project — which is said to be Mexico’s largest PV installation to date — has been completed and is now operational.

Located in Cerro Prieto, the project is owned by the state-owned electric utility company Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) and has been built to serve as a “test site”. The utility firm will collate data from the facility in order to determine which technologies and equipment are most suitable for the Mexican climate and for wider adoption in the country. The pilot project is the first of its kind in Mexico.

As a result, half of the project is built using thin-film PV modules supplied by Solar Frontier while the other half is equipped with polycrystalline PV modules provided by Siliken.

SPG Solar provided its single-axis All-Weather SunSeeker tracker which is being utilised for 60% or 3MW of the project. According to the company, the tracker has the ability to generate up to 25% more energy compared with fixed-tilt installations.

Installation began in July 2012 and the project was completed in December 2012. EPC services were provided by Iberdrola Ingenieria & Construcción Mexico.

Speaking with PV-Tech, Bill Elwell, SPG Solar’s Vice President of Product Sales, said he believed the project would be “a great stepping stone” for the Mexican PV industry.  “I believe that Mexico offers a great deal of potential. Not only are energy costs rising but Mexico has great solar resources.”

Elwell also revealed that Central America will be a key area of focus for SPG Solar. In particular, he sees high demand in Puerto Rico which has had a number of utility-scale projects come online in the past year.

PV-Tech Storage Promo

Newsletter

Preview Latest
Subscribe
We won't share your details - promise!

Publications

  • Photovoltaics International 26th Edition

    Looking back, 2014 was a year of convalescence for a PV industry still battered and bruised from a period of ferocious competition. End-market demand continued apace, with analysts towards the end of 2014 predicting the year would see between around 45 and 50GW of deployment. That has begun to feed through to the supplier end of the market, with all the main manufacturers announcing capacity expansions in 2015 and further ahead.

  • Manufacturing The Solar Future: The 2014 Production Annual

    Although the past few years have proved extremely testing for PV equipment manufacturers, falling module prices have driven solar end-market demand to previously unseen levels. That demand is now starting to be felt by manufacturers, to the extent that leading companies are starting to talk about serious capacity expansions later this year and into 2015. This means that the next 12 months will be a critical period if companies throughout the supply chain are to take full advantage of the PV industry’s next growth phase.

Partners

Acknowledgements

Solar Media