SunPower and Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste, S.A.B. de C.V. (ASUR), a privatised airport group in Mexico and Cancun Airport operator, have signed an agreement for 36MW solar power project.

The project has been backed by eight other airports in southeast Mexico along with a 50% joint venture (JV) partner in Aerostar Airport Holdings, operator of the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan.

ASUR has signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with SunPower to buy power generated by the solar power plant, which will serve its operations in the airports of Mexico.

"Through our energy efficiency efforts to-date we have reduced energy per passenger by 34% over the past six years."

ASUR chief executive officer Adolfo Castro said: "We anticipate that this cost-competitive solar power from SunPower will offset expected increases in the cost of electricity from fossil fuel sources over the long-term.

"As a member of the Dow Jones Emerging Markets Sustainability Index, this is a critical step in further reducing the carbon footprint of our airports.

"Through our energy efficiency efforts to-date we have reduced energy per passenger by 34% over the past six years. This PPA will allow ASUR to cover 100% of its energy requirements as of the date of this announcement with solar power, an important milestone in our sustainability strategy."

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Construction work on the 36MW phase solar plant in Mexico is expected to commence in 2016.

With the start of the project, SunPower will provide operations and maintenance services, along with monitoring power plant production.

Global Power Plants SunPower executive vice-president Jorg Heinemann said: "Increasingly, off-site solar is an option selected by businesses that want to take advantage of the value and benefits of solar, but lack available land at their own facilities to generate the amount of power they need to serve demand."

SunPower plans to design and build a SunPower Oasis Power Plant system.

Oasis is SunPower’s fully integrated, modular solar power block solution for utility-scale solar projects, designed to maximise the use of land and is engineered for rapid, cost-effective installation.

The technology includes SunPower’s proprietary robotic solar panel cleaning capability that uses 75% less water than traditional cleaning methods and improves system performance by up to 15%.