GUADALAJARA, Mexico, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- A housing project in Guadalajara is going solar with help from Mississippi's Solar America Corp., an innovator in the cost-saving technology.
Mexico leads Latin America in solar energy production but analysts say the country has yet to exploit its full potential. More solar power generation in Mexico will free up its oil output for exports and save the state precious resources that are currently spent on producing non-renewal energy.
Industry analysts say Mexico can combine solar power with wind energy production to get the best results from its existing potential of the two natural resources.
The latest solar energy deal takes development of the resource a few steps forward. Solar America Corp. said Monday it signed a memorandum of understanding with Valdez Cueva Constructores Asosiados S.A. de C.V., the principal contractor for the housing project.
The Los Conejos housing project is under construction in Tonola, a suburb of Guadalajara.
Solar America will provide Los Conejos with solar power stations and solar lighting solutions for the planned community of 700 homes.
"Our participation in the Los Conejos project will allow us to quickly demonstrate our solar power solutions to a new audience of builders and developers in Latin America," Solar America Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Bludorn said.
"While the Los Conejos is a modest project we believe it will be the first of many projects in Latin America in which Solar America will be asked to participate," he said. He said the company saw the Mexico deal as an opportunity to "utilize our American grown solar power Stations in Mexico and beyond."
The Solar Power Station is designed to work with existing products from major solar industry players including Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd., Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. and LDK Solar Co., Ltd.
Solar America Corp. says it aims to commercialize and distribute innovative and "cutting-edge" solar energy products and solutions across the region.
Mexico has been increasing the capacity of solar energy plants already begun over the past few years.
A 46.8 megawatt photovoltaic project under construction in Puerto Libertad, Sonora, was started as a 39 megawatt undertaking but its size was increased to allow higher levels of power generation.
A solar trough based 14 megawatt plant will use a combined cycle gas turbine of 478 megawatts to provide electricity to the city of Agua Prieta, Sonora. The World Bank has financed the project with $50 million.
A solar or parabolic trough is a type of thermal collector that works with other equipment to channel the heat gained into fluid pipes that are then linked to a heat engine that generates electricity.
Another 450 megawatt concentrated photovoltaics plant is planned for Baja California.
Mexican lawmakers are working on legislation that aims to require 33 percent of electricity from renewable resources by 2024.
However, Mexico's ambitious renewable energy plans have met with resistance from operators of existing facilities that use non-renewable resources. Critics blame politicians and vested interests for delays in a fuller realization of renewal energy programs in Mexico.