Texas May Supply Mexico with Electricity

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Report: Texas May Supply Mexico with Electricity

April 15, 2001 2:01 pm EST

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The U.S. state of Texas could supply power-hungry Mexico with some of its excess electricity this summer, although the power shipments will be limited by the capacity of transmission lines connecting the two regions, a newspaper reported on Sunday. This summer, Texas will count on about 13,000 spare megawatts of electricity above the 57,000 megawatts the state foresees for its summer demand, Texas Public Utility Commission spokesman Terry Hadley told the daily Reforma.

Some of this excess electricity will be used for reserves in Texas and the rest would be available to export to Mexico and other U.S. states, said Hadley.

"What will be somewhat problematic is the availability of this energy for the other side of the border (Mexico) because there is a transmission problem. It will not be fully available due to the interconnection," Hadley told Reforma.

Mexico can bring in Texas electricity at five border interconnection points, which have a total capacity of between 600 and 700 megawatts, Reforma reported.

Another Texas utility official said, however, that power shipments to Mexico would be further complicated by the lagging pace of regulatory approvals needed to exchange electricity, as well as by a lack of infrastructure to make the connections compatible.

Mexico could face a power crunch in coming years as its state-run electricity system struggles to meet fast-growing power needs. In some parts of the heavily industrialized north, for example, power demand is growing at 10 percent or more annually.

The government of President Vicente Fox plans to send Congress a long-awaited electricity bill this year in a bid to open up the sector to new sources of private investment.

Officials have said Mexico -- Latin America's No. 2 economy -- has enough electricity to meet domestic demand until 2004, though last year the government was forced to cut power to large industrial clients 41 times to avoid larger power outages.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), April 15, 2001

Moderation questions? read the FAQ