The electricity trade between Mexico and the US goes back to the early 1900s, when privately owned utilities scattered across remote towns on both sides of the border helped meet one another’s demand with a few cross-border low voltage lines. The flow of electricity from Mexico to the US has steadily increased and undoubtedly renewable energy projects have played a role in this rise. For instance, Sempra was given permission to construct, operate, and connect a 230kV transmission line crossing the US-Mexico border. This transmission line will supply to the Californian market from a Mexican wind farm.
Strengthening the electricity bond between the US and Mexico has been brought to the fore with an announcement by CRE granting Energía Buenavista the right to import electricity that will be exclusively connected to the national grid. This company will import up to 540MW of electricity generated from a combined cycle plant based in Frontera, Texas. So, who will benefit from this influx of electricity? It is destined to satisfy the needs of the automotive, mining, pulp, cement, and iron industries, among others, which will strengthen their competitiveness. It is estimated that the annual energy consumption of these companies reaches 4,730.4GWh.
Once the wholesale electricity market is up and running, those companies, which have in their possession similar permits and comply with the norms, will be able to continue importing electricity and participating in said market. This announcement sends a clear message that interconnection between countries brings about energy efficiency benefits, optimizes power systems, and increases power availability for consumers, all of which stand as competitive qualities that Mexico is striving to create.