Mexican electricity grid operator Cenace has instructed its regional officials to compile details of all grid connection applications from 2014-21, in line with an order from competition watchdog Cofece.

Cofece would like a list of all grid connection and interconnection requests made during the period, as well as the outcome of the requests or their current status if they are still pending.

According to a document obtained by news outlet Energía a Debate, the data is linked to an investigation launched by Cofece in March last year targeting possible monopolistic practices in Mexico’s wholesale electricity market. The federal electricity company CFE will probably be at the center of the investigation.

Since taking office in December 2018, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has made the restoration of CFE as the predominant player in the electricity sector, and of the national oil company Pemex also in the O&G sector, priorities.

The president’s priorities and those of Cofece have collided several times in recent years, the ant watchdog sued to stop AMLO’s regulatory and legislative efforts to undo the level playing field created in the electricity sector with the 2013-2014 reforms.

Cofece, for example, filed a constitutional challenge after the presidential Morena party passed significant reforms to the Electric Power Sector Law (LIE) in March 2021, which included establishing an order of priority distribution which required the purchase of CFE production before any private sector production.

A majority of Supreme Court justices sided with Cofece in a hearing on April 7, but the seven-to-eleven vote was not enough to overturn the reforms outright.

López Obrador also condemned the autonomous agency in public comments as opposition-motivated interference and threatened to abolish Cofece altogether.

The Cenace instruction, obtained by Energía a Debate and available hereindicates that it made the request on May 17, seeking “all applicants for interconnection and connection studies and legal persons who have signed an electrical coverage contract for power, electrical energy and clean energy certificates with the Cenace”.

The document indicates that Cofece requested additional information from Cenace on May 2, including the list of connection requests. Cofece also requested records of the studies used to reach the resolution of each claim, as well as the notification document sent to claimants.

The regional managers must also transmit the files corresponding to all the instructions issued by Cenace to carriers and distributors concerning the interconnection or connection contracts, as well as the realization of the interconnections of the power stations or the connection of the load centers to their respective networks. .

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