Jorge Ochoa
Country Manager Mexico
AWS Truepower at UL
View from the Top

Certifying the Security of Projects

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 22:08

Q: How would AWS Truepower describe the development of the Mexican energy market?

A: The Mexican market is unique; it has been created out of pieces from different countries, mainly from the US because of its similarities. This fact also makes it complex, with many public and private participants, such as the Ministry of Energy, CRE, CENACE, various generators, qualified distributors and CFE. All these players have a big appetite to make the Energy Reform successful and are aware that working together is the only way to do it. It is good that each has shown an openness to work together because with every new initiative, it will take time to make the market work in the best and most positive way. Some mistakes will be made but the most important thing is to learn from those mistakes, recover and keep in mind a long-term vision. The bidding process is a perfect example of the mistakes that may take place. Some of the awarded projects are having problems seeing the light of day. That is not ideal but it is logical for a new market. If the market is intelligent, it will learn from its own experience and result in more value in the long term.

Q: How does the merger between UL, DEWI and AWS Truepower benefit the Mexican market?

A: AWS Truepower is now merged with both UL and DEWI. The strategy behind the decision to enter into this merger was to expand the number of services we were able to offer. At the beginning, AWS Truepower was mainly focused on the initial stages of the project life cycle, conducting studies on the availability of resources and some on the technical aspects of the technologies. After some years we went into financing by working on due diligence and engineering certification for banks. On the operations side, DEWI became a perfect partner, allowing us to provide structural and life-cycle analyses for technologies having the DEWI certification. In Mexico, we want to become the strongest and preferred company for certification consultancy for developers and banks. 

Q: Where do you see the greater potential for the Mexican market: PPAs or long-term auctions?

A: AWS Truepower is a technical consulting expert for the technologies and resources involved in the development of renewable energies. We offer the same certification service for two types of clients: developers and banks. Our developer clients want to certify the generation capacity of their projects before banking them and banks want to make sure that the generation capacity of the projects in which they are interested in investing is actually the generation capacity the developer states. This service can be offered to any developer or banking institution, no matter the type of commercial relationship they are entering into, be it a result of an auction or a PPA.

From the moment the tenders were announced and up to the awarding of the projects, we saw a decrease in the number of PPAs. This was expected because developers wanted to see whether it would be better to focus on long-term auctions or if PPAs would still be attractive. Now that there is a known floor for the prices on tenders, we have seen PPAs starting to move again as developers can now ponder the advantages and disadvantages of each market. What we have experienced is that big companies that won in the auctions also found the PPA market interesting because they can create economies of scale. Medium-sized companies, on the other hand, are finding the PPAs more attractive because within them they can offer more services and innovative business models. Finally, the small ones are seeking associations with both medium and big companies.

AWS Truepower , a company of UL, is a leader and innovator in renewable energy consulting, providing engineering services and operations as well as software solutions to support clients while developing their projects to turn them into durable assets.