MEXICO CITY – The bidding for the electricity transmission line that will connect the state of Baja California with the rest of Mexico will exploit the northwestern region’s “enormous potential” to transport and export clean energy, Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquin Coldwell said Monday.
At the ceremony formally announcing the project, the minister said that the line will minimize the costs of providing electric service, will reduce the current power transmission congestion in some parts of Mexico and will increase the power transport capacity between the points of generation and consumption.
Mexico has an interconnected electricity system on the national level, with the exception of three isolated systems on the Baja California peninsula.
The transmission line is intended to alleviate this situation with direct high-voltage cables that will run from Mexicali and Hermosillo (the capitals of Baja California and Sonora states, respectively).
The line will run for some 1,400 kilometers (about 870 miles) and will have a transmission capacity of 1,500 megawatts, said Coldwell, who added that the cost of the project will be more than $1.1 billion.
The line will be constructed “with cutting edge low environmental impact technology,” which will allow it to be incorporated into northwestern Mexico’s renewable energy system.
The cost of installation will be financed with private investment, regulated by the state, he said.
Currently, northwestern Mexico has solar and wind power generation potential of some 175 MW, but the project will increase that to more than 1,000 MW,” said Cenace national energy control center director Eduardo Meraz Ateca.
He added that the project will reduce the costs of energy production, thus getting the country closer to the goal of producing 35 percent of its electricity cleanly by 2024 and increasing its energy export possibilities.
To date, 45 firms from Mexico, Brazil, China, Colombia, Spain, the US and India “have shown interest in participating in bidding for the project, authorities say.
During July, interested parties will present their proposals and on Sept. 14, Mexican authorities will announce the winning bid.