The interconnection of Baja California’s isolated grid and Mexico’s national grid was apparently dealt a fatal blow when the US$1.1bn Cucapah-Seri transmission line tender was cancelled in January, leaving seven pre-qualified companies stranded.
However, the government’s project website reveals that there is a second Baja California interconnection project due to be launched in November.
This second project is valued at US$1.6bn and is registered as being in the pre-investment phase while under review by federal electricity utility CFE.
The project consists of a 110km 400kV submarine cable, 620km of 400kV transmission lines, a 55km 400kV double circuit transmission line, a 195km 230kV double circuit transmission line and a 2km 115kV double circuit transmission line.
The connection will also require the construction of three converter stations at the Villa Constitución, Mezquital and Esperanza substations, two transformer banks and two capacitor banks.
The date for contract signing and start of construction is June 2020 and the contract would run until end-May 2023. The developer will be responsible for financing the project during construction with the government making the corresponding payment when the assets are ready to operate.
One of the principal differences between the cancelled interconnection project and the current one is that the previous project crossed 1,400km overland while the new one involves a connection under the Sea of Cortés.
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