1st phase of Mexican solar project to be operating in April
Mexico was pushed to accelerate its turn toward renewable energy after Russia invaded Ukraine last year drove a sharp increase in global energy costs, Mexico Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said late Thursday.
Ebrard made the comments after taking dozens of foreign diplomats to see a massive new solar energy project near the U.S. border.
"Mexico is making a really great effort because it didn't consider (the shift to renewable energy and electric vehicles) would be so fast," Ebrard said. The decisions made by the United States and Mexico in the past year to invest heavily in those areas "didn't appear so near before the war."
"We too have to change the focus," he said. "It has to go faster."
In April, Mexico plans to power up the first phase of a huge solar energy project near a beach town popular with tourists making the short drive from the United States.
Once completed, the full $1.6 billion project will have a generating capacity of 1,000 megawatts -- enough to power some 500,000 homes. It will be the largest solar project built by Mexico's state-owned electric company.
In Puerto Penasco, near the top of the Gulf of California and border with Arizona, rows of solar panels that tilt with the passing sun run off to the horizon hovering above the sand. The project will eventually cover 5,000 acres in the transition where the desert flattens between the rugged brown mountains and blue sea.
The Federal Electric Commission plans to have the first 120 megawatts of the project operational by April 29, Juan Antonio Fernandez, the commission's strategic planning director, said Thursday.
Sonora Gov. Alfonso Durazo, who once served as a Cabinet minister alongside Ebrard before running for state office, made the case that Sonora should be the center of Mexico's electric vehicle production. In addition to the solar energy coming online -- in total 5 gigawatts of solar capacity are planned for the state -- Sonora has the country's largest known deposits of lithium, a key component in batteries for electric vehicles.
Ebrard said the plan represented a "new model of development."
"We're not going to be able to do that in all of the states at the same time," he said. "But we have to demonstrate that that idea can be real and is not wishful thinking."
The turn toward renewable energy is at odds with other priorities of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
The president has invested heavily in propping up the long-struggling state-owned oil company. He is building a big new oil refinery. And he has pushed legislation that gives advantages to the state-owned electric company over private energy production, which in many cases was cleaner. It is the subject of a trade dispute with the United States and Canada.
Ebrard is one of several people seeking the presidential nomination of Lopez Obrador's Morena party for the 2024 national elections.
MORE Business News
How to claim Ontario's staycation tax credit on your tax return
People in Ontario who vacationed in the province last year can claim the trip on their upcoming tax returns, and here’s how to do it.
Thinking of an alternative lender? What it could mean for your mortgage
As economic conditions make it harder to qualify for a mortgage, Canadians are increasingly looking to alternative lenders, particularly amid interest rates. CTVNews.ca looks at why Canadians are seeking private lenders and the potential benefits and risks attached to them.
opinion | Tips on how to get the most out of your TFSA
The federal government's latest TFSA contribution limit increase took effect this year. On CTVNews.ca, personal finance contributor Christopher Liew outlines eight tips on how Canadians can get the most out of this popular savings account.
opinion | These are the new tax brackets for 2023
There are going to be some changes to Canada's tax brackets as we move into 2023. These changes could impact how you’re taxed when you file your 2023 income tax returns next year.
Canadian food bloggers share tips, tricks to make filling budget-friendly meals
Food bloggers and cookbook authors say meal-planning and simple recipes can help home cooks put together filling and tasty dishes on a budget -- an increasingly stressful challenge amid rising food prices.
Canadians fell for more home improvement scams in 2022, new report finds
The Better Business Bureau says Canadians fell for home improvement scams the most in 2022, in a report highlighting the riskiest scams and how much money they cost Canadians.
'Not every sale is a bargain': How to avoid common money mistakes
In light of new poll results that found Canadians are spending a lot of time worrying about money, one personal finance expert shares some simple tips to help Canadians avoid making some common, costly mistakes with their cash.
Opinion | Does buying an electric vehicle make financial sense?
While there are many benefits to electric cars, the question of whether they are a good financial choice in Canada is still up in the air, personal finance contributor Christopher Liew explains on CTVNews.ca.