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Mexican regulator opposes solar energy communities and storage
Create Date: 08/18/2020

Source: PV-Tech                                                                                                                                    Date: August 18, 2020

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With the government having already introduced measures which will reduce the volume of renewables in the national energy mix, further new provisions will restrict the deployment of energy storage and the ability of solar energy generators to sell excess power to nearby consumers.

Mexican energy regulator the Comisión Reguladora de Energía (CRE) has issued two new deliberations which forbid the establishment of solar energy communities and block solar-plus-storage deployment.

The new measures cancel previous provisions which enabled PV system owners to sell excess power to nearby consumers and deploy energy storage, and come on top of rules recently introduced by the government to further hinder the rising share of renewables in the country’s energy mix. The authorities have taken an anti-renewables stance with the aim of consolidating the position of state-owned utility the Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE). Previous measures included the suspension of renewables auctions and a stop on grid connections for new solar and wind projects.

Mexican trade body the Asociación Mexicana de Energía Solar said the energy community provision canceled by the regulator had offered the opportunity for solar electricity to be used in remote communities and by the small and medium-sized businesses which supply around 80% of the nation’s jobs. “The new decision affects a vulnerable social stratum that lives in remote communities and lacks an electricity grid, by denying them access to clean energy,” stated the solar organization.

The association also criticized the energy storage move, stating: “It is worth mentioning that today in Mexico there are already two power plants in operation that include storage systems and at least three more power plants under construction that will include this type of technology.”

The trade body added: “The two new resolutions of the CRE generate uncertainty and confusion in the solar energy sector. These actions are contrary to the official discourse of the federal government and the commission itself, which have made public their intention to increase the reliability of the electricity system and benefit communities and Mexicans in vulnerable situations.”