According to a recent report by Bloomberg, U.S. based Synergy Technologies and SolFocus, Inc., in a joint venture with Mexican real estate developer Grupo Musa, have announced a $1.5 billion project to build the world’s largest solar farm along the U.S.-Mexico border in Baja near Tecate, Mexico. Construction is scheduled to begin later in 2012 and the plant will be operational by the end of 2013.
Boasting 450-megawatt capacity, the solar farm will use concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) technology and could ultimately provide power locally in Mexico and to the U.S. CPV solar power uses a complex system of mirrors and lenses to attract light from the sun and store it in solar cells that use it to produce electricity.
“The project is in direct alignment with the Mexico and U.S. bilateral clean energy agenda,” stated David Muñoz, who is the director general of the Baja California State Commission of Energy. “The countries share a common goal of achieving strong economic growth and energy security while addressing climate change and increasing the reliability of energy infrastructure.”
Fully completed by 2016, the project will be owned and operated by SolMex Energy, with most of the power initially being used by Grupo Musa to power the company’s properties throughout the region. To meet the needs of the plant, SolFocus will ramp up production and will eventually build another100-mw manufacturing facility closer to the solar farm that will cost between $12 and $15 million to build.
The renewable energy market in Mexico has previously been made up largely of wind power, but this project marks a giant leap forward for the country in developing solar powered energy sources as well. Considering that Northern Mexico real estate is home to the third largest solar resource in the world, it is also an ideal location for the development of additional power plants in the coming.