Acciona Energía completed the assembly of the 404.57MW-capacity 'Puerto Libertad' photovoltaic plant in the Sonora desert in 2018. To achieve this, Acciona installed more than a million photovoltaic panels (1,072,909) with an associated capacity of 356,02MW in two months, from 19 October to 19 December, a construction milestone for this type of plant that is accompanied by another day record figure: on 18 December the company assembled 43,080 modules (14.29MW).
Acciona Energía is building this plant as a turnkey project for the joint venture that owns it, Acciona holding 50% and the other 50% Tuto Energy. With total planned capital expenditure of 349 million US dollars (303 million euros at current exchange rate), 'Puerto Libertad' will enter service during the first quarter of 2019.
"To date we had never reached such a pace of activity in the construction of a photovoltaic plant. In 'Puerto Libertad' we have achieved very efficient working practices born of our experience in previous projects, and this has enabled us to complete the assembly of the plant in record time and also contribute to a major increase in our installed capacity in Mexico", Acciona Energía México CEO Miguel Angel Alonso explained.
The construction of the plant created an average of 600 jobs, with activity peaks when more than 1,300 people were employed. When fully operational it will provide stable employment for 38 people.
The 'Puerto Libertad' photovoltaic plant consists of 1,222,800 polycrystalline silicon panels installed on 1,496 horizontal tracking structures with a solar radiation collection surface area of 2.4km2 (equivalent to 333 professional soccer pitches). It is located in the municipality of the same name near the coast of the Gulf of California in Lower California around 200 kilometers northwest of Hermosillo, the capital of the State of Sonora.
The plant will produce approximately 963GWh of energy per year, covering the electricity demand of 583,000 Mexican households. Given its renewable nature, the energy produced will avoid the emission of 925,443 tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere from coal-fired power stations every year, with a cleaning effect on the atmosphere greater than that of 46 million trees.