Governor Patrick Announces Massachusetts-Mexican Partnership for 30-Megawatt Solar Electric Project in Zacatecas

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Robert Fitzpatrick
(617) 315-9352
Mar 21, 2014 –
Mexico City, Mexico

Governor Deval Patrick today joined representatives from three Massachusetts companies, The Vertex Companies, Inc., Panel Claw and Solectria, and two Mexican partners, Constructora e Inmobiliaria Zacatecana and Grupos Domos, to announce ZacSol, a 30-megawatt solar electric project that will be among the largest of its kind in Latin America.

"I congratulate VERTEX, Panel Claw and Solectria on this historic agreement that will bring economic growth to Massachusetts while fostering the global clean energy economy," said Governor Patrick. "We have opened up the doors of Massachusetts to the world, and today Massachusetts companies are competing on the international stage and winning."

Governor Patrick was joined by Zacatecas Governor Miguel Alonso Reyes in announcing the project during a reception held as part of the Massachusetts -- Mexico Innovation Partnership Mission.

The VERTEX Companies, Inc., of Weymouth, is leading the environmental permitting and construction management of the project, while North Andover-based Panel Claw is slated to supply the ground-mounting system and Lawrence-based Solectria Renewables the solar inverters. The Mexican partners for the project include Constructora e Inmobiliaria Zacatecana and Grupos Domos. After the final approval for the project, the Federal Electricity Commission of Mexico will purchase the electricity generated by the system, which will be one of the 10 largest in Latin America.

"I'm thrilled to see this collaboration between a trio of Massachusetts companies working together and with their partners on an international stage," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan.

"It's exciting to see these Massachusetts clean energy companies expanding into Latin America, truly solidifying the Commonwealth's spot on the global stage," said MassCEC CEO Alicia Barton.

"Today's announcement is further proof that Massachusetts' solar industry is booming and growing beyond our region," said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia. "I'm excited that this project will help Mexico enjoy the economic and environmental benefits of solar investments."

"VERTEX is excited to announce the ZacSol project together with its Massachusetts and Mexican partners," said Jeff Picard, President and COO of The Vertex Companies, Inc. "VERTEX has been working in Mexico for over a decade and this is one of the most exciting projects we've had the opportunity to work on. ZacSol will be an important project for Mexico and we are thrilled to be part of the team making it happen."

"Mexico's growing commitment to solar power generation creates an opportunity for it to become a greater part of PanelClaw's North American strategy," said Constantino Nicolaou, CEO of PanelClaw North America. "The ZacSol project is a perfect example of international collaboration needed to accelerate the adoption of PV."

Solar energy has been a major component of Governor Patrick's clean energy agenda since 2007. Massachusetts currently has 464 Megawatts of solar electric capacity, enough to power the equivalent of 70,000 average Massachusetts homes. More than 8,400 workers in Massachusetts spend at least 50 percent of their time on solar-related activities, according to the 2013 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report.

"The Mexican solar market has the potential for explosive growth in the near term. As one of the first major solar projects in Mexico, ZacSol is going to help drive the growth of the solar market," said Javier Garza Buffington, Grupo Domos Director of Business Development. "Grupo Domos is excited to be a part of ZacSol with their partners from Mexico and Massachusetts."

"Constructora e Inmobliaria Zacatecana (CIZ) has extensive experience developing construction projects in Zacatecas," said Joaquin Leal Kirchbach CEO of Constructora e Inmobliaria Zacatecana, S.A. de C.V. "With our first solar project in the state, we are looking forward to continuing to help create jobs and now provide a clean source of energy in Zacatecas."

From March 19 -- 22, 2014, Governor Deval Patrick is leading the Massachusetts -- Mexico Innovation Partnership Mission, bringing together leaders in government and business to focus on strengthening existing relationships and building new ones with the emerging innovation economy of Mexico City.

Massachusetts and Mexico share a strong, established relationship that, with the proper cultivation, has the potential to develop significantly. In 2013, Mexico was Massachusetts' third ranked import partner, with Massachusetts importing approximately $3.37 billion worth of goods and services. Mexico was Massachusetts' third ranked export partner, with Massachusetts exporting approximately $1.86 billion worth of goods and services. Similar to the Patrick Administration, the Pena Nieto Administration has pursued a growth strategy that invests in education, innovation, and infrastructure.