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Dhamma Energy sells 130-MW Mexican solar farm to Engie


Dhamma has 1.2-GW pipeline of solar projects under development

Mexico expected to reach 4 GW of solar generation capacity by next year

Mexico City — Spanish solar developer Dhamma Energy on Tuesday said it had sold a 130-MW solar project in the northwest Mexican state of Sonora to France's Engie.

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The project will be backed by a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) that Engie signed with steel producer Gerdau, Dhamma said in a statement.

The developer is going to assist Engie during the project's construction and commissioning phases. The solar farm is expected to be operational by the end of 2019, Dhamma said.

Solar energy has become one of the most competitive sources of power generation in Mexico in recent years.

In the country's third long-term electricity auction, solar prices reached an average of $23/MWh, data from Mexico's Energy Secretariat (SENER) shows.

"With this project, to date, Dhamma Energy has developed and sold 390 MW of solar PV that hold PPAs in Mexico," said Philippe Esposito, Dhamma's co-founder.

Dhamma sold its 108-MW Guanajuato I and II Solar Park to Prana Power in July. It also sold the 37-MW San Luis Potosi I Solar Farm to Mexican asset manager Balam Fund.

Also, Dhamma has a pipeline of solar projects with a combined capacity in excess of 1.2 GW, making it one of Mexico's largest solar developers backed by PPAs, he added.

Among the solar projects Dhamma is currently developing are the 400-MW San Luis Potosi II, 400-MW San Luis Potosi III, 150-MW Guanajuato V, 118-MW Aguascalientes, 74-MW Guanajuato III and IV, and the 45-MW Morelos facilities.

Mexico has emerged as a growing solar marketplace in recent years. Favorable regulation has enabled up to 2 GW of solar plants to be built to date, Dhamma said.

This capacity is expected to grow to 4 GW by 2019 led by projects backed by PPAs and contracts awarded following long-term electricity auctions.

SENER forecasts 7.34 GW of new solar capacity will be installed in the 2018-2021 period. Of this, 6.7 GW of solar capacity has already been awarded and contracted at three long-term electricity auctions or via PPAs over the last two years.

-- Daniel Rodriguez,

-- Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh,