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Renewable Energy Projects in Mexico, Brazil and Chile

Leveraging Favorable Legislation and PPPs While Navigating Pricing Issues, Regulatory Hurdles and Infrastructure Shortfalls

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Thursday, August 25, 2016

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide guidance to energy counsel to companies exploring renewable energy opportunities in Latin America, and also discuss the obstacles to successful development of renewable energy projects. Fundamentally, the opportunities derive from huge needs, government policies favoring renewables and an opening to PPPs. The obstacles derive from very low prices in recent auctions, transmission issues and some degree of regulatory uncertainty. The panel will focus on the obstacles, particularly the pricing issues.


Latin America is a hub for renewable energy investment. Over the last two years, Mexico has undergone a broad overhaul of its energy industry, opening its market to foreign investment. This, in conjunction with the Mexican government’s goal of hitting clean energy targets of 25% by 2018, 30% by 2021, and 35% by 2024, has captured the attention of U.S. and international companies. Companies must overcome the challenges of Mexico’s new regulatory system and the economic and political environment to take advantage of the opportunities in Mexico. The very low prices established in the first CENACE auction present a major challenge to developers, but are those prices sustainable? What are the strategies in response?

Brazil is one of the fastest growing solar markets, drawing the interest of numerous foreign investors, energy companies and manufacturers. However, challenges with projects in Brazil include infrastructure and cost of capital obstacles. The worldwide drop in renewable energy prices exacerbates the difficulties in raising capital. The political situation also creates substantial uncertainty. But there are niche opportunities while infrastructure and political issues are being resolved.

Chile has also seen a surge in its renewable energy industry. Clean-energy acquisitions in Chile experienced the highest growth rate worldwide last year. The country has a national renewable energy target of 20% by 2025. The country has great renewable energy potential offering new public-private partnership opportunities for investors. A major issue in Chile is the need to link north and south grids to bring renewables from the north to the south, and we will review Chile’s related transmission planning. But in the meantime, distributed generation projects are one area to explore.

Listen as our authoritative panel provides guidance to energy counsel to companies exploring renewable energy opportunities in Latin America. The panel will examine the benefits of going into Brazil, Chile and Mexico as well as the challenges facing companies. The panel will offer guidance for seizing the new opportunities and managing the risks.



  1. Procurement opportunities for new renewable energy projects
    1. Mexico
    2. Brazil
    3. Chile
  2. Regulatory challenges in Latin America
  3. Navigating the Mexican reforms, economic and political environment
  4. Choosing local partners
  5. Best practices


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • How will the developing economic and regulatory landscape impact companies going into Mexico?
  • Are the low prices established in Mexico’s recent auctions sustainable? How will pricing from public utility auctions affect corporate PPAs and other renewable energy opportunities?
  • What regulatory hurdles will companies face in Mexico? Brazil? Chile?
  • What approaches can parties and counsel use to overcome or mitigate risks while capitalizing on the opportunities in Latin America?


Juan Francisco Mackenna
Juan Francisco Mackenna


Mr. Mackenna is co-head of the firm’s Energy Group. His practice area is focused on energy regulatory matters and...  |  Read More

John B. McNeece, III
John B. McNeece, III

Senior Counsel
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

Mr. McNeece's practice focuses on renewable energy and international business transactions primarily in...  |  Read More

Paulo H. Varnieri
Paulo H. Varnieri

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

Mr. Varnieri is in his firm's Corporate & Securities and Latin America practices and is licensed in...  |  Read More

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