Víctor Sotomayor

Empowering Qualified Users

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 17:42

In the first days of Mexico’s wholesale electricity market (WEM), qualified users faced an undefined and volatile regulatory framework, which caused a lack of adequate information and prevented them from capitalizing on the country’s new energy model. This issue persists today, says Víctor Sotomayor, Director General of 32Energía. "As a result, large corporations – foreign and domestic – may be missing out on the benefits, as well as unwillingly ignoring the regulatory obligations of the new energy market,” Sotomayor explains. “Qualified users remain misinformed about the clear advantages and fall short of meeting their obligations to migrate toward the new wholesale electricity market, which is the key reason for the creation of 32Energia and the conception of a unique business model to do so.”
The parent company of which 32Energía is a subsidiary operates diverse business interests in the public and private sectors, from outdoor advertising and brand construction to high-level international business relations, counting among its commercial base important clients like Grupo Modelo, BMW México and Grupo Salinas. “The Energy Reform provided a natural next step for our organic business growth by opening the possibility to commercialize energy from the WEM," he says. "We were among the select few companies that were able to prevail until today by establishing a formal, well-thought, tangible and workable business model for SMEs conducive to a gradual implementation of Mexico’s emerging energy framework.”
While tackling initial administrative, technical and financial challenges, 32Energía started investing significative capital and commercial resources in product and service diversification to specifically meet the needs of qualified users. “We have invested millions on analysis, research and the creation of the right strategic alliances with responsible, prudent and reputable companies,” Sotomayor says. “The results allowed us to absorb market expertise and the use of our business intelligence resources while aligning our clients’ success to our own results.”
The company’s energy consulting services help identify the ideal supply partners for its clients. “Through due diligence undertaken by our team of legal, technical and financial experts, we hand-pick only the right qualified suppliers eligible to participate in our clients’ bids,” he says. “Assertive due diligence processes remain critical because certifications and warranties as defined by the WEM’s regulatory framework are still subject to modifications in an infant industry that is growing parallel to its regulation. We want to ensure conditions that grant and guarantee qualified users’ continuous capacity to operate in the market without disruptions.”
To provide added value and consolidate its diversification efforts, 32Energía secured strategic alliances, connecting with IDB financing to provide energy efficiency solutions. “For this business niche, we have primarily targeted specific business models like hotel chains and other susceptible businesses where energy deficiencies are present,” Sotomayor says. “32Energía wants to capitalize on its business relationships in other industries, including some of the most important hotel chains in Mexico.” The company is looking to reinforce its consultancy services within the wholesale electricity market as a counteroffer to consulting firms like the Big Four qualifying agencies operating in the country, whose services, Sotomayor says, are onerous for most of Mexico’s SMEs. “We capitalize on our deep knowledge of local conditions and business climates, for which our client growth becomes our primary selling point. We want to address the significant pool of large companies with the electricity demand required to become qualified users while providing the knowledge and expertise to have them participate in the new electricity market.”
Sotomayor believes that focusing primarily on supporting the correct migration of its clients’ businesses toward the WEM will underpin 32Energía’s successful growth. “After overcoming diverse difficulties at the outset of Mexico’s infant deregulated electricity market, we were able to secure a parallel pilot project with BMW México for the development of an EV charging station network in our country,” he says, adding that this project is challenging but scalable once the pilot succeeds while putting the realities and needs of Mexico’s EV charging stations into perspective.