Luis Flotte
Director General
Avitar Energía
View from the Top

Chihuahua's Bright PV Future

Fri, 02/01/2019 - 12:48

Q: Why should entities from the industrial, commercial and residential niches turn to Avitar for their PV systems?

A: PV energy is becoming more accessible given the reduction in PV component costs over the last seven years. Avitar helps keep the cost of energy competitive by taking advantage of opportunities offered by the exchange rate and the development of world-class technologies, such as solar panels that optimize the MWh/m2 ratio. Investment in PV technology can ensure greater profitability by making energy expenditure more cost-efficient. Avitar is very aware that savings are key to improving economic performance. Our services and solutions are designed to help companies achieve this. 
Avitar has the capacity to develop large-scale projects thanks to its complete distribution network and Chihuahua’s favorable solar irradiation that maximizes the performance of our panels. The company’s more than 17 years of experience helps make it the ideal partner for those that want to invest in PV systems and create savings. We support our clients throughout the entire process, from finding the right property to delivering turnkey solutions as well as post-sale maintenance services. Moreover, we just signed the two first national contracts to interconnect to the grid and, therefore, become pioneers in energy trading operations to CFE outside of the long-term electricity auctions. 
Q: How does Avitar choose the components it uses to install its PV systems?

A: Most of the solar panels are designed to have a life cycle of 30 years. To ensure this value, we look for the best components with the best possible performance to meet the needs of our clients. The brands supplying our inverters, for instance, have local representation to directly support the client in terms of product warranty. We include new technologies in our portfolios as these appear in the market if they have proven to outperform those we already provide. Avitar uses these new developments to improve the cost and performance of its technological solutions. 
Q: What is your view of Chihuahua’s PV potential?

A: Three years ago, Chihuahua had just one PV park but today there are around close to 10 that participate in the wholesale electricity market. The first solar park, with 15MW, was built during the administration of President Felipe Calderón, under a self-supply scheme and conditioned on transmission payment. Today, the installed capacity of each of those solar parks ranges from 35-250MW. 
Avitar’s expertise and Chihuahua’s solar irradiation are a solid combination to provide attractive energy solutions for companies. The ROIs are very favorable and Chihuahua has the necessary infrastructure to develop large-scale PV solar parks.

Q: What are your growth expectations?

A: Our growth prospects are encouraging. In terms of residential and commercial interconnection contracts nationwide, the figure for the first half of 2018 grew by 150 percent compared to 2017. That is a positive market signal for Avitar to position itself with the best PV system installation warranties available for residential, commercial and utility-scale projects, as well as wholesale transaction contracts.

Q: What is your assessment of the removal of the Chinese solar panel import tariff?

A: This situation has two implications. On one side, the removal of the tariff is making PV technologies more profitable and accessible. On the other, removing tariffs from solar panels implies a risk of injecting poor-quality panels with no certifications into the market. Ideally, this initiative should be accompanied by an improved regulatory framework to filter poor-quality products and ensure the solar module supply available in Mexico is primarily composed of certified and high-quality solar panels.