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Mexico's court granted clean new energy plant testing

Alejandro Cegarra/Bloomberg

Aerial view of a solar panels on a commercial power farm.

- Power system regulator indefinitely suspended testing on virus
- At least 17 other injunction requests have been filed

By Justin Villamil/Bloomberg

MEXICO CITY
Petroleumworld 05 20 2020

A Mexican federal court granted three companies a temporary stay against a government measure to halt new clean energy plant testing, which could set a precedent for other renewable firms fighting the same measure.

In its decision on Friday, the court granted FV Mexsolar XI SAPI and two anonymous companies injunctions against the government for a rule change that suspended “pre-operative testing” needed for new plants to come online.

The National Center for Energy Control, known as Cenace, which oversees the electricity grid in Mexico, put an indefinite end to the tests earlier this month, citing coronavirus safety procedures. The country's antitrust body said early this month that the renewable rules may hurt competition .

Critics say that the administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is prioritizing the state power company Comision Federal de Electricidad at the expense of private renewable projects. In addition to halting tests at new clean energy plants, the government has separately fast-tracked rules that would grant priority to the public utility over private projects.

Read More: AMLO's Clash With Business Spreads to Mexico's Renewables Sector

The court said in its decision on plant testing that the government is now required to justify its new rules before they can be applied to the two companies that won the temporary injunction.

The decision may help other companies requesting similar injunctions. There are 17 similar requests still pending, according to a person with direct knowledge of those cases, who asked not to be identified as the details are private.

The additional cases should be decided in the coming days, the person said.

Story by Justin Villamil from Bloomberg.

bloomberg.com
05 18 2020

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