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CFE explains atypical interruptions in Mexico’s electrical energy

Mexico City, Mexico — Power outages felt around Mexico were controlled and staggered to maintain a balance between supply and demand reported the head of the Federal Commission of Electricity (CFE).

Manuel Bartlett Díaz who heads Mexico’s Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) says the National Electric System (SEN) is consolidated in the country.

“At no time was it at risk from the power cuts carried out in a controlled and staggered manner last week in some states of the country with the purpose of maintaining a balance between demand and generation of electricity, he stated Thursday during a morning press conference.

“The Mexican electrical system is stronger than ever. (…) The national electrical system did not enter into crisis, it was never stopped, there was no damage to industry, to commerce, there was really nothing more than what has been presented in periods of one hour.

“We insist this issue was provoked throughout Latin America. (…) The national electrical system is impeccable, it is working,” he said during the Presidential morning press conference.

Bartlett explained that the exceptional outages in electrical energy were resolved with the reinstatement of equipment and machines that were undergoing preventive maintenance to face the summer season.

Manuel Bartlett Díaz Photo: AMLO May 16, 2024.

The Corporate Director of Strategic Planning of the CFE, Juan Antonio Fernández Correa, reported that Mexico’s generation capacity is 87,000 megawatts. The extraordinary demand last week reached values close to 50,000 megawatts, so there is enough to meet the needs of the people.

From Tuesday, May 7 to Thursday, May 9, the National Electrical System functioned normally until the peaks, that is, the hours with the highest demand for electricity, which is why in some regions blackouts were recorded from 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., he added.

Unusual extreme temperatures caused by atypical heat waves and droughts impacted energy production. In addition, the generation units were in a natural maintenance process and certain failures were reported in power plants that caused the electrical system to become unbalanced, he explained.

With the aim of maintaining balance in the electrical system, rotating service interruptions of 48 minutes to two hours were carried out limiting them to 5 percent of the population and maintaining the remaining 95 percent with electricity supply.

To date, there have been six days without interruptions that meet conditions similar to the demand on May 7 and 9, thanks to the actions implemented jointly by the CFE and the National Energy Control Center (CENACE).

CENACE has a workforce of 1,437 people in 11 work centers distributed throughout the Mexican Republic in charge of operating, controlling and managing, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the National Electrical System and the Wholesale Electrical Market.

CFE explains atypical interruptions in Mexico’s electrical energy
AMLO May 16, 2024.

The CFE permanently monitors the system with interdisciplinary teams to address the weather conditions that impact electricity consumption patterns.

The Deputy Manager of Operation and Dispatch at CENACE, Mauricio Cuéllar, argued that there is a 6 percent reserve that allows maintaining an exact balance between demand and generation of electricity. When it drops below 6 percent, an alert is activated and an emergency is declared, which has the objective of avoiding a major problem.

“There are times when, if all the generation that is considered is not enough, the only way to balance is by reducing demand, that is, affecting users of electrical energy, because there is no longer a balance at that moment, there is more generation capacity,” he explained.

Mauricio Cuéllar Photo: AMLO May 16, 2024.

After Brazil, Mexico has the largest electrical energy production capacity in Latin America, said the General Director of the National Energy Control Center (CENACE), Ricardo Octavio Arturo Mota Palomino.

On the night of May 7, a blackout was felt in 18 states across Mexico including the Yucatan Peninsula. The power outage was blamed on the high demand for power.