Mexico plans to alter dispatch priority to favor public hydros
Mexico’s government has announced a new measure aimed at favoring public utility CFE’s hydroelectric generators by arbitrarily modifying their dispatch priority.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) will issue a decree changing the normal dispatch priority, currently based on economic principles. Grid coordinator Cenace will be instructed to give extraordinary priority to CFE’s hydropower generators, sidelining private producers.
López Obrador confirmed he would move forward with the decree during a Monday visit to the Ángel Albino Corzo dam in Chiapas state, arguing the existing policy has privileged private plant owners, while not allowing CFE’s dams to release their accumulated water.
The move marks the latest in a series of regulatory decisions requested by AMLO to boost the CFE and allow it to increase its market share at the expense of private generators. The new measure would break the existing regulation and ignore the principle that the system should be operated by allowing plants with cheaper operating costs to inject their output first.
According to AMLO and CFE, the move was also related to the administration of the water flow in the Grijalva river, which supplies four hydroelectric dams. The government argues that, under the previous scheme, water accumulated and then had to be released suddenly and in large quantities, leading to flooding downstream.
The new regulation, which would allow the dams to release water more constantly, would allow it to prevent flooding, as well as generating 40% of the energy consumed in Tabasco state, according to CFE.