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  • The largest photovoltaic solar power plant in the United States at Nellis Air Force Base outside of Las Vegas, Nevada

    The largest photovoltaic solar power plant in the United States at Nellis Air Force Base outside of Las Vegas, Nevada | Photo: US Airforce

Published 24 April 2018
Opinion

Mexico is tapping into its best renewable resource - the sun - to power the country’s energy needs.

Mexico is tapping into its best renewable resource - the sun - to power the country’s energy needs.

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In the middle of the desert just outside of Viesca, Coahuila in northern Mexico, the arid landscape is covered in 2,400 hectares of solar panels set to start producing energy - 1,700 gigawatts per hour - by June.

After the Mexican government began to allow foreign companies to invest in its energy sector in 2013, the Italian firm Enel Green Power began to construct Villanueva solar photovoltaic plant in Coahuila, which will be able to provide 1.3 million households with green electrical power.  

The US$ 650 million project is part of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s 2015 push for Mexico to produce 43 percent of its electricity from clean sources by 2024 and to halve its carbon emission by 2050.

The individual panels will follow the sun shifting as the earth’s star moves across the sky to absorb as many rays as possible.

"Coahuila is a state that's all in on renewable energy, biotechnology, information technology, and space engineering. This is the future of our state," said Governor Miguel Riquelme.

Enel Green Power is also working on installing a wind farm in Coahuila and the state of Tamaulipas along with another solar panel farm in Guanajuato.

The Coahuila Villanueva plant is the world’s largest solar project outside China and India.

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