La Paz: Oil-fired generators arrive in Baja despite concerns

Mexico’s state-owned electric utility (CFE) has completed the transfer of two heavy fuel oil-fired generators with a total capacity of 66 total megawatt (MW) to the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula to satisfy summer power demand, sources tell Reforma newspaper.

Despite local authorities preference for natural gas alternatives, CFE transferred the oil-fired generators to the city of La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur state. Environmental groups have raised the alarm about the reliance on fuel oil burning power plants operating in the state.

 “Sulfur (dioxide) shows an upward trend despite the fact that there has is less demand for electricity (during the pandemic lockdown) and in the case of nitrogen and ozone the decrease is not even 20%”, said Jacqueline Valenzuela, head of CERCA, a pro-renewables group in La Paz.

 Early this year, clean energy advocates had argued in favor of Mexico of solar and wind power plants to satisfy summer demand in La Paz (pop. 272,000). However, the López Obrador administration decided through CFE to launch a tender for a new oil-fired power plant in the area.

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