Mexico scraps 200MW wind tender
EXCLUSIVE: Competition axed amid ‘intensifying’ conflicts in Oaxaca
Mexico has cancelled a 200MW turnkey wind tender in Oaxaca amid ongoing social conflict related to utility scale developments on the Tehuantepec Isthmus.
Public utility Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) cancelled the Sureste 1 phase 1 tender following several weeks of delays. Spanish wind group Gamesa and compatriot power company Gas Natural Fenosa, via local subsidiary Fuerza y Energía Bii Hioxo, were the only two in the running.
Mexico’s House of Representatives called for the Sureste tender to be suspended in October in the face of “intensifying conflict” between foreign companies and local communities. The parliamentary motion said “hundreds of blockades and protests against wind farms” have led to “serious consequences, including one death and several injuries”.
The motion called for CFE to redesign Sureste and all future wind tender criteria to encourage community-led projects to participate. The document also flagged up grid restrictions in the area and claimed a parallel Sureste phase 2 tender for 100MW, since awarded to Enel Green Power, would fill all remaining transmission capacity at CFE’s disposal.
The motion was dismissed shortly after it was lodged but the issues it highlighted remain. The vast majority of wind farms built on the isthmus have run into varying degrees of difficulty with opponents, most recently at the 400MW Mareña Renovables development.
Ongoing skirmishes and the tender cancellation cast a shadow over CFE’s longer term ambition to procure more than 1GW of wind at Sureste, part of Mexico’s strategic ambition to exploit the Tehuantepec resource. A CFE spokesperson was unavailable for comment.
Image: La Mata La Ventosa wind farm in Oaxaca (Clipper)