November 24 (SeeNews) - Mexican research institution Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas (IIE) is working on a pilot project with local company Postensa to enable wind power installations in more regions of the country through concrete wind turbine towers with a height of over 100 m (328.1 ft).
The company is to install a 100-m prototype tower of 2 MW in the state of Oaxaca by the end of 2015, La Jornada daily said on Saturday.
Concrete towers are 30% cheaper than traditional ones made of steel, according to manager Alejandro Cortina. But the most important benefit would be the expansion of the national wind map toward areas with lower wind classes thanks to higher wind turbine towers, he said.
Concrete towers may also enable small and medium-sized firms to compete at the energy auction scheduled for the next year. There are medium-sized Mexican firms interested in the new energy auctions, Cortina said, with wind projects in the states of Nuevo Leon, Veracruz, Quintana Roo and Baja California.
Mexico's installed wind capacity of 3,000 MW is now concentrated in Oaxaca and represents 8% to 9% of the mix, while the government is targeting 10,000 MW for 2018.