Invenergy Blog: May 26, 2017
How Invenergy Is Helping Drive Latin America’s Energy Transformation
We’re excited to be building our on-the-ground presence in Latin America. We just opened the doors of our new regional headquarters in Mexico City, and within the last year expanded into Uruguay with the acquisition of new wind and solar projects. Invenergy has been working in this part of the world for some time already, but the launch of our new hub in Mexico will accelerate our work in Latin America’s vibrant renewables markets.
Energy Transformation Underway in Latin America
Latin America is playing a leading role in the global energy transformation in some important ways. Mexico and Uruguay are great examples.
The Mexican government enacted energy reforms in 2014 to open its energy market to Independent Power Producers (IPP) for the first time, advancing new opportunities for energy innovation and competition. Mexico also created a new clean energy certificate trading program and boldly pledged to reduce emissions 35% by 2024 and 50% by 2050. All of this is proof that Mexico means business about investments in clean power. In fact, the country is on a fast track to have almost 20 gigawatts of renewable power by 2028 relative to an existing base of 3.7 gigawatts.
The story in Uruguay is compelling too: only 15 years ago, the nation was dependent on oil imports from its neighbor, Argentina; but today, Uruguay is an energy exporter. The country has decarbonized its energy sector by ramping up renewables like wind and solar while lowering electricity costs without government subsidies. Today, renewables provide nearly 95% of Uruguay’s electricity, positioning the country as a renewables leader not just in Latin America, but globally. With its secure investment environment, investors have poured $7 billion into renewables in Uruguay in the last five years alone.
As we look around the globe, these markets and others in Latin America promise opportunities to continue building the clean energy future.
Speed and Flexibility Give Invenergy An Edge
As vibrant renewables markets in Latin America attract capital and interest, how does Invenergy differentiate itself and find an edge? As North America’s largest independent, privately held renewable energy provider, we combine the scale and depth of a large, public company with the flexibility and speed of a small company. This positions us well to operate in dynamic and fast-paced markets like those in Mexico, Uruguay and throughout Latin America. What’s even more critical is that we have a team on the ground in this region to navigate the new energy landscape.
While we have had a presence in Mexico since early 2014, our new regional headquarters provides locally-based leadership of our activities across the region. We have a team of more than 20 professionals in Mexico City that is highly experienced having collectively developed and executed more than 15,000 megawatts of power projects. They are leveraging that experience on an active project pipeline of more than 5,000 megawatts in Mexico. This includes clean energy projects in different development stages, with a few projects positioned to close by late 2017. With this new office opening, we plan to maintain strong integration with Invenergy’s US-based headquarters in Chicago.
In Uruguay, we’ve acquired two renewables projects within the last year -- Campo Palomas Wind Farm (70 megawatts) and La Jacinta Solar Farm (64 megawatts). Both projects are in operation and located in Uruguay’s Salto Department (Uruguay has 19 departments, similar to states or provinces). The Campo Palomas Wind Farm is located on approximately 2,000 hectares of agricultural land, including horse grazing and cattle breeding, owned by the government’s National Institute of Colonization. Power from the wind farm is purchased under an agreement with Usinas y Transmision Electrica (UTE), the Uruguayan state-owned utility.
In addition to delivering clean power to Uruguay, these projects are providing jobs and economic development benefits to the local area. The La Jacinta solar facility began operation in October of 2015 and supports approximately eight full-time jobs. It also generates on average more than $ 1 million U.S. dollars annually in the form of taxes and leasing payments for the local community.
The energy transformation in Latin America is underway. And opportunity to accelerate growth in clean energy in this part of the world doesn’t stop in Mexico and Uruguay. Other countries are also following suit to pursue economic development and clean energy goals. Invenergy is proud to be a partner in building the region’s clean energy future.