Impact project of the year - renewables: Cubico Sustainable Investments

Channels: IMPACT

Companies: Cubico Sustainable Investments

Mina, Nuevo León, northeastern Mexico. Here a wind farm stretches out across 6,000 hectares of open grassland, surrounded by the mountains of the Sierra Madre.

This farm is the 250MW Mezquite project, owned by London-headquartered Cubico Sustainable Investments. In June 2019 it became the company's first operational wind farm in Mexico, as well as the largest in its global portfolio.

In Mexico, access to electricity is an ongoing problem for many communities, with more than two million people lacking access to power in their homes. Along with creating value for shareholders, the Mezquite project aims to provide, through a long-term power purchase agreement with a state-owned utility, low-cost energy for the low-income residential and agribusiness sectors, while using the resulting relationships to further support the economic, social and environmental development of surrounding communities.

The resulting activities have so far included the delivery of portable, solar-powered lighting kits to families of a remote indigenous community, the construction of a digital library for students in Mina and the organisation of the first running race on a wind farm in Mexico.

Proceeds from the Cubico Wind Race, with its inaugural event held this year, went to Enseña por Mexico, a member of the Teach for All global network, and the proceeds will be used to positively impact the education of 5,400 students in Nuevo León.

Now operational, the Mezquite project generates approximately 890GWh of electricity per year, enough to power around 120,000 Mexican households. This contributes to the avoidance of more than 400,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year – equivalent to planting 800,000 trees.

The project currently employs 30 people. During construction the number of workers on site peaked at 1,000.