The first U.S.-Mexico cross-border wind farm was recently inaugurated in Tecate, Baja California.
The $300 million Energia Sierra Juarez 1, a 155.1 MW wind farm, began commercial operation in June. The electricity generated by the wind farm is being purchased by a San Diego Gas & Electric, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy that provides service to more than 2.25 million electricity and natural gas customers in California's San Diego and Orange counties.
The project was financed via a $39 million loan from the North American Development Bank (NADB). Project financing was provided by a syndicate of banks, with Mizuho Bank as coordinating lead arranger, NADB as the technical and modeling bank, and Nacional Financiera, Institucion de Banca de Desarrollo, NordLB and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. acting as lenders.
Constructed on approximately 13,100 acres of leased land near the city of Tecate, Baja California, the project consisted of the designing, building and operation of a wind farm with 47 wind turbines, each with a nominal capacity of 3.3 MW, as well as the construction of a 4.8-mile transboundary transmission line.
‘This first cross-border wind project is a model of collaboration between the two countries,’ says Geronimo Gutierrez, NADB managing director. ‘We are very pleased to have been a part of its implementation, and we believe that it will be first of many binational energy projects in benefit of the residents on our shared border.’