Leading U.S. Solar Industry Manufacturer and Plant Operator

ENGAGEMENT GOAL

A leading, publicly-traded solar energy company sought new business opportunities as a result of Mexico’s historic Energy Reforms, but it needed assistance to understand and navigate the transitional period between the old electricity regime and the newly competitive market.

SERVICES PROVIDED

We counseled the company on bidding in Mexico’s first electricity power auction in 2016, from which it was awarded power purchase agreements to provide approximately 500 MW capacity from two solar facilities. Since then, we have guided the company through the many federal, state and local regulatory and permitting hurdles that need to be cleared in order to build the two plants.

Our work includes policy analysis and advocacy regarding the new regulatory regime, including pushing for important policy modifications. We have connected the company with federal and state government officials with oversight over its projects, including with top officials at all four federal agencies with a stake in Mexico’s electricity market. We have also helped the company build and lead a robust team of specialists to streamline the process of obtaining its interconnection, generation, environmental and social impact permits.

In addition, we are working with our client to identify potential off-takers of electricity supply outside of amounts committed for sale to the state-owned electric company through the auction process. Finally, we are supporting our client’s manufacturing operations in Mexico by acting as a liaison with economic authorities in its effort to build a robust and reliable in-country supply chain.

OUTCOME

Our client is progressing toward the start-up of the first of its two solar power plants in 2018. The company has received near universal support from federal and state government agencies, but the process to obtain the support of local indigenous peoples has taken longer than expected. Nevertheless, the negotiations are going well with much appreciation for the company’s proactive community outreach, and our client’s efforts have been highlighted by government officials as an example of how projects with a significant social impact component should be undertaken.