Óscar Fernández López
Director General Mexico and LATAM
View from the Top

Construction Expertise for Operations, Maintenance

Tue, 03/10/2020 - 17:35

Q: What value does Revergy add to the Mexican energy industry?

A: The maintenance and operations services we provide are quite unique in Mexico. We are involved from the pre-construction stages, providing engineering and conceptual designs. We then elaborate RFQs to help the developer determine the most adequate EPC company for the project. During the construction stage, we provide all the data and specialists necessary to guarantee success. Once construction is complete, we provide asset management solutions that help the promotor run the plant. We supervise the operation and produce all the required technical reports concerning the environment, union, finances and safety. Next, we continue working as contractors for the EPC company or operate the project ourselves. We have ample experience in the industry and manage about 30GW worldwide, 70 percent of which is wind and the rest is solar. We also have a great deal of experience in the construction sector, which we are now able to harness for other phases of a project. REVERGY works to the highest standards and procedures to ensure the best quality for every job.

Q: How will you consolidate your presence in Mexico?

A: Our consolidation will take place in wind and PV (Solar) generation, with plans to strengthen the projects we already have. We operate and manage seven wind farms of around 900MW under O&M and 800MW under asset management, both PV and wind farms. We want people to hear about us, letting our excellent work do the talking for us. For instance, we have just begun a project where in only half a year we increased the wind farm’s availability from 96 percent to over 99.98 percent. This is a result of all the experience we have accumulated through the years. We believe our position with our customers reflects a partnership rather than seeing them as a client. For us, every service is considered a product that requires a dynamic quality process, with a daily goal to improve every one of our services.

With respect to solar, we are in a growth phase, with a background of having built large plants in Chile and Spain. Promotors normally leave operation and maintenance to the EPC company, but the latter is seldom interested in O&M because their main vocation is the building phase. Still, the market pressures you to provide maintenance for at least two years after construction and most EPC companies only support the strictly technical aspects. They outsource the rest, which is where we come in, providing asset management services and supervising companies that do operation and maintenance.

It is uncertain how the market will develop in Mexico because projects are still under construction or in the phase where the EPC company is providing maintenance services. As projects begin to develop over time, the market will begin to mature. We are in a privileged position to capitalize on this because we have information on the performance of different kinds of monitoring equipment. We are also in the process of homologation for becoming the official maintenance provider for the two main inverter providers in Mexico, which will provide our customers an added value regarding efficiency and quality.

In 2020, we expect construction to pick up, and a trend that will gain central importance is energy accumulation. Hybrid projects, where wind and solar generation are combined, is where the energy accumulation component will be crucial.

Q: What steps can Mexico take to foster the solar segment?

A: The government needs to take measures to facilitate the operation of solar plants. There are areas of opportunity in states like Baja California and Yucatan, which are not plugged into the general grid and need alternative infrastructures. Supporting distributed generation would be a step in the right direction. For example, Baja California has approved very little MW of distributed generation, even when the state experiences marked energy peaks, during the tourist season, for instance, and when the peaks are in the same time frame during which solar plants generate the most energy. A distributed generation system could solve many problems, especially in combination with batteries. The present administration is keenly aware of Mexico’s needs. The growth of the country’s energy sector would ideally be spurred by national companies and the truth is that the government needs to partner with the private sector, because the government lacks the resources and capital to do it on its own. A possible solution would be JVs.

Revergy is a Spanish company with 30 years of experience in the energy sector. The company is in 12 countries and has about 3GW under management, mainly from wind and PV.