Geothermal in Mexico

11.01.07 | 2 Comments

While at the GRC Annual Meeting last month, one of the interesting talks was about the state of geothermal power production in Mexico. The map below shows the major geothermal fields in the country:

Map of Mexico indicating the major geothermal fields and production areas.

There are primarily 3 active sites producing electricity using geothermal harvest:

  • Cerro Prieto – 720 MWe
  • Los Humeros – 42 MWe
  • Los Azufres – 188 MWe

These areas are divided into the volcanic belt stretching across the middle of the country and the Cerro Prieto which is part of the Imperial Valley/Salton Sea production zones working in the US today. Currently, around 950 MWe are online producing some 6.6 GWh of electricity for Mexico, or about 3.1% of their annual electricity consumption. By 2010, it is expected that an addition 220 MWe will be available (100 MWe Cerro Prieto, 45 MWe Los Humeros, and 75 MWe in Cerritos Colorados.) It is estimated that Mexico has some 8,000 MWe of commercial quality, clearly more exploration and development is possible.

The major geothermal operator in Mexico is CFE. Images from the sites are available below.

Turbine at Cerro Prieto
Cerro Prieto - turbine at geothermal plant.

Binary Plant at Los Azufres
Los Azufres - binary geothermal plant.

Steam emissions at Los Humeros
Los Humeros - steam emissions at geothermal plant.