Atlas Renewable Energy’s La Pimienta Solar Plant is fully operational, making it the second largest solar plant in Mexico to date. The plant will generate 789 GWh a year, and will supply the state-owned utility, Federal Electric Commission (CFE), with clean energy for the next 15 years.
PVTIME – Atlas Renewable Energy, an international renewable energy generator, announces that its solar plant La Pimienta is fully operational. The plant, which is located in the state of Campeche, has a capacity of 300 MW making it the second largest solar plant in Mexico. The plant will supply energy to CFE under a 15-year contract to support the power needs of the Yucatan peninsula.
The announcement of this important milestone was made on Thursday, Nov. 17, during a visit to the plant by local government officials led by the Secretary of Government, Aníbal Ostoa Ortega, who represented the Governor of the State of Campeche, Layda Sansores, who mentioned “La Pimienta is an extraordinary project that will generate an echo in other companies; investors know that all companies that come in good faith and are committed to the environment are welcome.”
Dorothy Ngutter, U.S. Consul General in Merida, who was representing Ken Salazar, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, said that “our governments’ commitment to clean energy and energy transition pays off for the benefit of our nations and the planet.”
La Pimienta is composed of more than a million solar panels, which are spread across 651 hectares. The solar plant will generate about 789 GWh annually, which could be compared to supplying enough energy to benefit more than 300-thousand families.
La Pimienta represents the first large-scale solar renewable energy investment in Campeche, with the participation of high-caliber institutions including the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB), National Bank of Public Works and Services (Banobras), MUFG Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and Société Générale.
“We are very proud that our largest project to date is now fully operational. This project is very special for us, as we are able to supply clean energy to the Yucatan Peninsula and avoid the emission of more than 1.7 million tons of CO2. In addition, we are able to promote unique social and environmental programs that will contribute to the well-being of the surrounding communities and the preservation of the local ecosystem,” said Camilo Serrano, General Manager for Atlas Renewable Energy in México.
Atlas’ commitment to accelerate the transition toward clean energy is closely linked to its vision of social and environmental responsibility. During the execution of this project, Atlas implemented a series of socioenvironmental programs that had a positive impact on the local communities and ecosystems.
The construction of La Pimienta created over 1,000 jobs where the local workforce was prioritized. Atlas’ flagship program “We are all part of the same energy” trained 355 local women in technical skills and hired 165 of them, raising female representation from a traditional 2% to 15% during the construction of this type of projects.
Atlas also implemented Project Carmen; a program in partnership with the local health authorities focused on bringing accessible healthcare to the nearby communities through the construction, rehabilitation and equipment of two health centers. The company also supported the community with the installation of dry bathrooms and wood-saving stoves for over 40 families.
Taking care of the environment and protecting the local ecosystem was also a main focus for Atlas. The company implemented a biodiversity program to preserve the local flora and fauna and enhanced a natural corridor within the plant, to improve the habitat of local species. The company is also reinserting local flora that was rescued during the construction phase of the plant, and it will execute a 450-hectare reforestation program, expecting to plant close to 100,000 specimens.
With this project, not only does Atlas continue to help accelerate the transition toward cleaner sources of energy, but also looks to raise the bar in terms of environment & ecosystem protection, diversity and inclusion practices within the industry and commitments to social responsibility.