Wind Power Will Help Beer, Soda Flow In Mexico

Until this past December, the idea of a massive, 396-megawatt (MW) wind power plant in Mexico was just a dream, a vision of Mareña Renovables.

Then the project landed part of its financing, and now the Dutch wind company Vestas says it has received an order for 132 V90 3-MW turbines that will comprise the new wind farm on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, a wind-rich region in the state of Oaxaca, in southern Mexico. When completed, it will be the largest wind installation in Latin America. And it will also power local beer and soft drink operations.

image via Vestas

Mareña Renovables, which has commissioned Vestas to build, install and hook up the turbines to the local electrical grid, is owned by a consortium that includes the Macquarie Mexican Infrastructure Fund, Mitsubishi and PGGM, a leading Dutch pension fund service provider.

Power from the wind plant will be sold, under a 20-year power purchase agreement, to Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma, the local Mexican operating company of the global Heineken brewing company and a subsidiary of Fomento Económico Mexicano (FEMSA), a consumer company that is also the largest local bottler of Coca-Cola. Delivery of the turbines is set to begin next month.

In December, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a loan of up to 1.1 billion Mexican pesos (around $72 million) to Mareña Renovables to help the project. Financing for the project was completed in late February for a total of 8.9 billion pesos ($682 million) from the consortium that owns Mareña Renovables.

Shifra Mincer is a freelance journalist and passionate tweeter (@Shiframincer) currently living in Israel. Before moving to Israel to apprentice with a homebirth midwife, Shifra worked as Associate Editor of AOL Energy, and was a member of the launch team that got the site up and running. Shifra has over a half a decade of experience in journalism and has written on women's health, green technology, politics and regulation of the energy industry, energy financial news, and local news. While studying for her B.A. at Harvard College, Shifra worked as a news editor for the Harvard Crimson. Shifra is also a yoga teacher and a birth doula and is hoping to create an active Jewish birth community through her web venture www.layda.org.