Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced in late December that he will sign an agreement with Hydro-Québec for the modernization of 60 hydroelectric plants in order to increase electricity production.
Mexico now has almost 13,000 MW of hydro power, with potential to generate 27,000 MW, according to the World Energy Council.
That represents about 17 per cent of the country’s total installed electrical generation from renewable sources, with about 70 per cent of its capacity coming from fossil fuels, increasingly natural gas.
López Obrador met at the country’s National Palace in Mexico City with Jacqueline Mongrut, executive vice-president of Hydro-Québec International, and with Pierre Alarie, Ambassador of Canada in Mexico.
“It gives me great pleasure to be able to inform Mexicans that we are looking for a cooperation agreement to modernize the 60 hydroelectric plants that we have in the county,” AMLO said at the pre-Christmas ceremony.
“The plan is to empower them, use that infrastructure, generate electricity with water. It has to do with the environment because it is clean energy and it is cheap. We already have that infrastructure and Hydro-Québec has the technology to modernize the hydroelectric plants”
He said a joint venture agreement will be signed between the governments of Quebec and Mexico to modernize the facilities.
“The truth is that our dams are under-utilized, our hydroelectric power plants.”
Mongrut said that Hydro-Québec generates 99.5% of hydraulic production in Quebec and has more than 50 years of experience in plant rehabilitation. She explained the actions that will be carried out in the Mexican hydroelectric plants include helping water management, major renovations and the use of new technologies to increase capacity, power production and utilization.