Mexico’s Network Code Key to Grid Modernization

Mexico’s Network Code Key to Grid Modernization

This piece was originally published in the August 2018 issue of electroindustry.

Gustavo Domínguez, Director, Mexico and Central America, NEMA Mexico

NEMA Mexico participated in Expo Eléctrica, Mexico’s biggest international electrical products trade show, held in Mexico City, June 5–7. It featured a panel with representatives of Mexico’s energy regulator (CRE), national energy control center (CENACE), and the state-owned electric utility (CFE).

Each speaker noted that improvement of the nation’s electrical grid would proceed regardless of which candidate won the July 1 presidential election. Demand for electricity and reliability are growing in Mexico.

Mexico’s 2014 constitutional and legislative reforms to the energy sector included the opening of the electricity market to participation from the private sector in January 2016. Private-sector firms are making offers to install new power plants, while CFE retains control of all transmission and distribution lines. In the near future, new T&D lines, such as the DC line to be built in Baja California, may be possible for private companies as well.

CRE, the regulator, will develop regulations and standards for the grid. Faced with growing demand, the federal government published del Sistema Eléctrico Nacional: Código de Red (the Network Code) in April 2016, establishing the minimum technical requirements for the grid for planning and operation of the electrical system. The technical requirements include all parts of the electricity industry: generation, transmission, and distribution. The Network Code is mandatory and CRE is responsible for enforcement and compliance.

The Network Code promotes increased reliability by requiring maintenance of the grid within minimum acceptable limits for voltage, frequency, reactivity, and service interruptions. If service is interrupted, the code requires the re-establishment of the system immediately. Accordingly, the modernization of the electrical system will require reliable electrical equipment and systems for monitoring and automatic management of the grid.

These circumstances point to good opportunities to grow the market for electrical products and systems in Mexico. CRE will require reliable generation, transmission, and distribution. This will require new investments to replace old equipment, especially in transmission and distribution lines and control and metering equipment.

Through NEMA Mexico, NEMA works with government organizations like CRE, CENACE, and CFE, as well as with CANAME (the chamber of electrical equipment manufacturers) and ANCE (a standards development and testing and certification body), to promote the development of regulations for electrical equipment.

The Network Code is available in Spanish at

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