Action across the Andes

Across the Andes from Chile, the renewable energy markets in Brazil and Uruguay are also benefitting from FRV’s growing presence in Latin America.

One of its first projects in the region was the La Jacinta solar power plant in Salto, in the north of Uruguay, developed by FRV.  This was the first solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) that FRV signed with the Uruguayan state-owned electric company Administración Nacional de Usinas y Transmisiones Eléctricas (UTE) and was the first to become operational, in 2015.  It remains one of the largest solar plants in Latin America.

Powering potential: renewable energy in Latin America

With 65 MWdc of installed power, the solar plant provides the 100% of its energy to UTE and meets the electrical needs of approximately 34,000 homes, while eliminating approximately 72,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.

FRV sold La Jacinta to Invenergy in 2017, but Pavon says the company is currently pursuing a number of other ventures in the country:

We have an interesting pipeline in Uruguay.  We are continually speaking with UTE, which is responsible for generation, distribution and transmission, and we are aware of several potential opportunities coming up in the near future. Brazil is one of the biggest economies in the region, and we are waiting to see how the sector performs.  We may have to wait a few years before we invest capital, but for the moment, we will be keeping a close eye on forthcoming opportunities.”

Making things happen in Mexico

As well as its operations in Chile, Uruguay and Brazil, FRV is rapidly establishing itself at the opposite end of the continent, in Mexico, where it has two major solar photovoltaic developments.

Its Potosi solar plant, in San Luis de Potosi, began producing energy operations last year.  The plant generates 815,000 MWh annually, providing enough energy to supply more than 76,000 homes and reduce Mexico’s CO2 emissions by almost 98 million tons per year.

Powering potential: renewable energy in Latin America

FRV’s second plant, the Potrero PV plant in Jalisco, will generate 750,000 MWh per year, supplying 128,000 homes and reducing CO2 emissions by some 437,000 tons.  The Potrero plant is on course to be completed in July 2020 after around just 15 months of construction work.

Powering potential: renewable energy in Latin America
Fernando Salinas Loring,
Managing Director FRV Mexico and Central America

Both FRV projects in Mexico are on track and performing well.  “With these two projects, we’ve installed a total of 640 MW of capacity in a Mexican market currently holding around 73,000 MW.  So, we have grown to become a relevant player in a very short period of time,”says Fernando Salinas Loring, Managing Director of FRV Mexico and Central America.

The first wind-power plants began operating in Mexico in 2013.  The country now generates around 12.4 gigawatts from wind, compared to 2.2 gigawatts from solar.  But, according to Loring, “solar is now beginning to catch up”

Powering potential: renewable energy in Latin America

One of the reasons for this success, he says, is a change in government attitude towards the renewables sector.

“The government has reaffirmed the renewable energy target of 35% by 2024, which is critically important,” he says, “Currently, 24% of Mexico’s energy is provided by clean energy.  So, we need to get to 35% in the next five years. It’s not going to be easy, but it can be done.”

His optimism is shared by Manuel Pavon in Chile, fueled by pro-renewables government policies and changing public expectations.

“The sentiment we’re seeing across the whole Latin American region is concern about climate change.  It is much greater than it was even four or five years ago.  People are also thinking about the wellbeing of our communities and cities, and governments realize that something has to change in terms of energy policies.  Renewable energy is a huge factor within all these considerations.  At FRV, we are looking forward to capitalizing on these opportunities and helping to deliver a cleaner energy mix for Latin America’s future,” says Pavon.


[1] “Latin America pledges 70% renewable energy, surpassing EU”, Reuters, September 25, 2019

[2] Energy Monitor: Renewable energy in Latin America, ABN Amro, May 2018

[3] Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index, Issue 54, November 2019

[4] Energy Monitor: Renewable energy in Latin America, ABN Amro, May 2018

[5] “Investment in Renewable Energy Sources Is Booming in Latin America”, Americas Quarterly, accessed December 12, 2019

[6] Annual CO2 Emissions by Region, Global Carbon Project & Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, 2019

[7] “Latin America and Caribbean Climate Week Is an Opportune Moment to Strengthen Regional Climate Action”, World Resources Institute, August 20, 2019

[8] The Social Panorama of Latin America, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, December 2019

[9] “Renewable electricity generation in Chile from August 2016 to March 2019”, Statista, accessed December 4, 2019

[10] Figures published by the Chilean National Energy Commission, November 2019

[11] “Long-term drought parches Chile”, Nasa Earth Observatory, accessed December 11, 2019

[12] Electricity generation by fuel: Chile, International Energy Agency 2017.

[13] “Current situation and major challenges of desalination in Chile”, Desalination and Water Treatment Journal, December 2019.

[14] “Chilean environmental authority approves largest desalination plant in Latin America”, Reuters, September 27, 2018.