Ahumada, Chihuahua, Mexico

Los Santos Solar I Project in Ahumada, Chihuahua

Status: Completed


In 1995, the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) was created to regulate activities related to the participation of private investment in the power and natural gas sector. CRE is responsible for issuing permits to private entities for power generation and the transmission of natural gas. The 2014 energy reform and new laws transforming the entire power industry in Mexico will consolidate these diversification efforts. The new electricity law contains provisions to grandfather the regulations and permits granted or applied for by the Project under the previous law.

The Mexican power grid is divided into nine zones, seven of which are interconnected and form the National Interconnected System (SIN). The Project will be located in the North Zone, which includes the state of Chihuahua and Durango. According to the Mexican Ministry of Energy (SENER), the generation capacity of Chihuahua was 2,121 mega-watts (MW) in 2012. The proposed Project will be the first utility-scale solar project in the state and the second largest solar plant in the country.


The Project comprises the design, construction and operation of a 13.7
MW solar plant and includes the following components:

  • Installation of polycrystalline photovoltaic (PV) modules with a
    nominal capacity of 305 watts (W) each installed and mounted on a
    single-axis tracking system
  • Construction of a collection substation
  • Inverters with 1,000 kilowattts (kW) of alternating current (AC)
  • A 115-kV transmission line extending approximately 0.28 miles to
    convey the energy to the interconnection point located along the Moctezuma-Las Cuatas transmission line, mantained by the Mexican federal electricity commission, Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE). 
  • A control and data system will be used to monitor remotely, track,
    and document the performance of the PV system relative to its
    predicted output. The Sponsor plans to install the monitoring and
    control system within the facilities of La Salle University to also
    serve as a demonstration project for educational purposes.

The energy generated will be purchased pursuant to long-term power
purchase agreements (PPA) by Leoni, S.A. de C.V. a global cables and
systems company and by La Salle in México, a private educational
institution group.


The Project will help reduce the demand for electricity generated by fossil-fuel-based power plants, and since solar-based power generation produces zero fuel costs and emissions, it will displace related harmful emissions. The anticipated environmental outcomes from the implementation of this project are the displacement are the displacement of 16,509 metric tons/year of carbon dioxide (CO2), 0.1 metric ton/year of sulfur dioxide (SO2,) and 57.6 metric tons/year of nitrogen oxides (NOx.).

The Project is anticipated to produce approximately 40.1 gigawatts-hour (GWh) of zero‐carbon electricity in the first year of operation, equivalent to the annual energy consumption of approximately 5,838 households.

In addition, clean technologies such as solar energy require no water for electricity production, whereas fossil-fuel‐fired generation is typically water intensive.

Project Financing

Total Project Cost Reserved
NADBank Funding US 18.5M - NADBank Loan
Other Funding Partners Market - rate loan