Atlas Renewable Energy, a portfolio company of Actis, launched the Guajiro Solar Plant, its first project in Mexico. The plant will have the capacity to generate 300 GW annually. Atlas invested more than US$118m into the project which was constructed and launched within seven months. Actis has plans to invest up to US$600m in Atlas to fund its continued expansion.
(BN Americas) State of Hidalgo, Mexico June 10, 2019.- Atlas Renewable Energy, a leading clean energy company in Latin America, inaugurated today its first solar energy project in Mexico, the Guajiro Solar Plant. The event was attended by the Governor of the State of Hidalgo, Omar Fayad Meneses, and other local government and state officials.
The plant is located in Nopala de Villagrán, in the State of Hidalgo in central Mexico and has a capacity of 129 MWp, which is equivalent to generating approximately 300 GWh annually. Atlas Renewable Energy invested more than USD$118 million, with the participation of Bancomext, who provided long-term financing in the amount of USD$88.5 million.
The Guajiro Solar Plant has a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE). The project reached commercial operation on May 1st, 2019, as planned – completing the construction process in just 7 months, after the acquisition by Atlas Renewable Energy. According to the company’s own calculations, the plant’s generation of the 300 GWh annually will provide clean energy to more than 120,000 families per year.
The plant has more than 370,000 panels, and spans over 410 hectares, which is equivalent to 220 football fields. As part of Atlas Renewable Energy’s business model where environmental safety is prioritized, more than 36,000 trees and almost 7,000 thousand non-tree species were planted within the project’s area. It is estimated that Guajiro’s operation will prevent the emission of 215,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year, which can be compared to removing 46,000 cars from circulation during the same period.
As part of Atlas Renewable Energy’s commitment to the environment and communities, during the plant’s construction, development and operation, the company worked with almost 2,000 people in the local area and created approximately 900 direct jobs. Additionally, Atlas Renewable Energy partnered with The Pale Blue Dot, a Mexican organization that promotes educational programs through the use of technology in schools and community centers. The implementation of the project allowed more than 400 students from the communities near the Guajiro Solar Plant to have Internet access and an educational platform. The project, sponsored by Atlas Renewable Energy, allows these digital classrooms to become an educational, social and cultural space for students, as well as a tool for new sources of information and measure its results.
During the event, the municipal president of Nopala de Villagran, David Padilla Guerrero said “Guajiro is an example of when things go well for everyone. It is a clear sign that progress in rural areas is possible when working with environmentally and socially responsible companies.”
Camilo Serrano, General Manager for Atlas Renewable Energy in Mexico, said: “Mexico is a key market in our business portfolio and an important renewable energy market in Latin America. The country offers immense potential for the construction and implementation of solar energy plants and Atlas Renewable Energy believes that the renewable energy industry in Mexico will continue its growth.” He added, “with this project we are able to move towards the country’s target to obtain 35% of energy generation through renewable sources by 2024.”
The Secretary of Economic Development of Hidalgo, José Luis Romo said, “the agile execution of this project, proves Atlas Renewable Energy’s efficiency and experimented team, as well as the effective policy implemented by Governor Fayad’s administration to attract investments and generate employment, a decision that has become a national reference.”
“Guajiro is our first complex operating in the country and marks the beginning of a promising relationship between our company and Mexico”, said Carlos Barrera, Atlas Renewable Energy’s CEO. “Atlas Renewable Energy is convinced that the right way to operate is to combine the wellbeing of the communities in which we operate by encouraging economic growth and environmental security. This, together with a pursuit for excellence and quality constitutes the strategic priorities of the company”.
The Governor of the State of Hidalgo, Omar Fayad Meneses, said, “with this important inauguration, Hidalgo has formally joined the fight against climate change.” He added “it is a privilege for us to host the Guajiro Solar Plant from which clean energy is generated for all Mexicans.”
This project is expected to be complemented by an additional 1.5 GWh that Atlas Renewable Energy plans to add to its investment portfolio over the next three years throughout Latin America. The current operations in Chile, Uruguay, Brazil and Mexico are evidence of Atlas Renewable Energy’s commitment to the development of clean energy in Latin America and a testimony of its trajectory as a developer and administrator of assets in the region.
About Atlas Renewable Energy
Atlas Renewable Energy is a renewable energy generation company that develops, builds, and operates renewable energy projects with long-term energy contracts across Latin America. The current company portfolio is 1.2GW of contracted projects in development, construction, or operational stages, and aims to grow an additional 1.5GW over the next decade.
Launched in early 2017, Atlas Renewable Energy includes an experienced team with the longest track record in the solar energy industry in Latin America. The company is recognized by its high standards in development, construction, and operation of large-scale projects.
Atlas Renewable Energy is part of the Energy Fund IV, founded by Actis, a leading private equity investor in the energy sector of emerging markets. Actis has allocated more than $600 million of equity in Atlas Renewable Energy to invest in long-term renewable energy contracted projects.
Atlas Renewable Energy’s growth is focused on the main emerging markets and economies of Latin America, using its proven development, commercialization, and structuring know-how to bring clean energy to the region. By actively engaging with the community and stakeholders at the center of its project strategy, the company works every day to provide the world with a cleaner future.