A Diverse One-Stop Shop for Power SolutionsBy Cas Biekmann | Mon, 08/30/2021 - 13:07
Q: How has Ammper tailored its energy solutions to the needs of medium and large energy users in Mexico?
A: In the last three years, Ammper has increased its offering of services since we are striving to become a one-stop provider for electricity-based solutions. We are developing our services as a fully operational qualified supplier and offering a variety of other solutions, such as our distributed generation (DG) division which primarily installs photovoltaic solar-based on-site power generation plants through various financing schemes. Moreover, we have launched our physical operations control desk, which monitors our clients’ substations 24/7 through a SCADA system and enables their compliance with all the critical grid code requirements. Ammper is considering launching a gas marketing division as well.
Ammper continuously seeks the best for our clients. For this reason we have added an energy services division to our operation, to help clients maintain their substations and employ energy efficiency schemes. This goes hand in hand with the growing importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria for businesses everywhere.
We are moving towards automation and digitalization by developing our soon-to-be launched business intelligence software powered by artificial intelligence to analyze the electricity market, our portfolio, and the interaction between them. This solution enables scalability and flexibility for our businesses. More importantly, it helps our clients by providing them with essential information and potential scenarios in their operations. In addition, it allows them to become more autonomous and flexible in how they operate within the market.
Q: How do you assess demand for the company’s DG services compared to its qualified supply?
A: On the qualified supply side, the market is just beginning. Only a small amount of the potential load that could be in the wholesale electricity market (WEM) is operating there. There is a great deal of room for the company to grow and to serve more clients. However, the construction of new power plants has slowed down. In the last three years, the environment in Mexico has not been optimal for the construction of new power plants. With our added values, our goal is to be a great option regardless of this situation. For the DG business, we have been working to add more value while acting as a co-owner of these power plants. We are working to provide data and insights and to make these power plants as efficient and profitable as possible.
Q: How does Ammper finance DG-based projects for its clients?
A: Our new DG branch, named Ammper DG, caters to clients that prefer to reap the benefits of DG but do not want to invest the necessary CAPEX for such systems. Ammper can finance the construction of an on-site solar power plant through a power purchase agreement (PPA) scheme. We charge the client on a per MWh basis. This product is starting to gain traction with our clients. It is an easy and foolproof way for companies to show their commitment to a renewable energy supply.
Q: How might DG-based projects play a role in terms of capacity in the WEM?
A: For DG to be an effective source in the electricity market, we would need to see slightly bigger distributed projects, ranging from 5-10MW. However, receiving permits for any project has been difficult lately, so DG projects have a bigger impact on players with a smaller load. I think these projects would be a great asset to balance the grid, especially if we can plug storage into them in the future. This could be a real game-changer for the market. It is a major opportunity: perhaps the technology is not yet optimal cost-effective but, eventually, I expect that the industry will get there. Not all DG projects rely on solar energy, though. Ammper has also looked into natural gas-based DG, for instance.
Q: How does Ammper help customers switch to fully renewable energy supplies in their bid to make good on stringent ESG criteria?
A: We see a great deal of demand for these types of solutions, so we have developed various alternatives for our customers to take advantage of. These programs aim to achieve the same goal for a renewable supply of energy but the rules within them may vary. Ammper tailors its solutions based on what a user might need for proof: guarantees of origin, clean energy certificates (CELs) and I-RECs are among the most common demands. Some companies just want to see the average of CO2 emissions coming from Ammper’s portfolio. Since our portfolio in Mexico generally has very low emissions, companies can easily comply with complex environmental requirements. Not all clients want to go for renewable energy though. Some feel comfortable with natural gas, for example. In any case, Ammper is flexible regarding these demands but we do see the industry transitioning toward a more sustainable footprint. Both Mexican and international companies want to transition, the main difference is that international companies, for the most part, have a clearer idea of how to go about this transition because of their experience in other countries. There are many solutions out there to achieve a more sustainable footprint, so we add value by guiding them through this process. We will be actively following the developments of the market to see how we can support our clients in the best possible manner.
Ammper is a Mexico City-based energy services provider that offers innovative and sustainable products and services to medium and large companies. Its solutions relate to renewable supply, clean energy certificates, financing and EPC of on-site projects and energy efficiency programs, among others.