Juan Carlos García de la Cadena
Founder and CEO
Beetmann
/
View from the Top

Energy, Waste Management Leads to Sustainability

By Cas Biekmann | Mon, 05/17/2021 - 11:50

Q: As companies adopt carbon neutrality goals, how does Beetmann help them optimize their energy use?

A: Beetmann offers two main services in this regard. One is distributed generation-based solar with battery storage. The second is energy optimization — and we can even provide energy as a qualified supplier. It is clear that more companies are adopting sustainability goals. Helping them achieve these goals is one of our core focuses. Firstly, we help them better understand their electricity consumption. This is important because companies in Mexico were used to seeing electricity as a cheap, static input as a result of the government’s prior 70-year monopoly in the sector. Companies received a CFE bill once a month and paying it was the only option available. The resulting inertia made it difficult for companies to move to a system that provided higher visibility regarding how energy is consumed. Once companies see how, when and why they consume, their eyes are opened in terms of how their industry functions. Secondly, whatever is not measured cannot be optimized. To this end, we provide an affordable platform based on advanced technology that provides our clients with real-time visibility on how they are consuming energy. The platform uses algorithms, alerts and reports to analyze this. Clients can also have as much granularity as they need. For example, they might only want to monitor the main consumption sites or they may prefer to dig deeper into each production line. Clients can then make informed decisions regarding their energy efficiency.

Companies need to measure how much energy is used in each process to be able to make the right investments and to know where to best optimize their energy. This approach aligns well with the need to comply with the grid code. As consumers, we have to take responsibility for improving our inner grids, which translates to a more reliable grid for everyone.

 

Q: How does Beetmann provide value beyond the optimization stage?

A: From that point on, we provide services as a qualified supplier, transforming the service to become an electricity ally for our client. We do not just send a bill every month; we provide clients with a much deeper understanding of their usage. We provide weekly reports on energy use, which completely changes the relationship between user and supplier. If a user saves energy, it does not mean we lose money. Furthermore, if we procure cheaper energy, that translates into value for the client instead of the supplier, an approach often seen in electricity markets. We want to avoid the “black box” approach by being fully transparent in this regard. Beetmann involves itself in the entire value chain, using as much renewable energy as possible while maintaining a competitive price.

 

Q: For distributed generation (DG) to be successful, optimal implementation is key. How does the company work to ensure an optimal ROI for its clients?

A: For many years, experts have said that the closer to the load center you generate electricity, the better it is because it reduces the potential for technical losses. DG is an optimal solution in this regard as it is located right next to the operation. In Mexico, the threshold for distributed generation is 0.5MW. This allows for a broad range of users to implement DG and we have seen interest rise significantly in recent years. In terms of ROI, the business model is there and the technology has proven itself. It is a matter of execution. Most inputs for photovoltaic distributed generation are common: solar panels and inverters. As long as you stick with top-tier suppliers, you are safe in terms of the technology. The difference is in how you size and build the power plant, as well as how you operate and maintain it. Over the long term, these will be the key points that either spark growth or cause the DG market to contract. From our perspective, the more transparency we provide the more confidence we earn. In every proposal we provide, we run a sophisticated simulation program that includes varying radiation and costs for O&M. It provides an ROI with 90 percent certainty within a certain range.

 

Q: How is the company approaching its DG plus storage solution for DRT’s industrial park project in Queretaro?

A: Our conversation with DRT started around three and a half years ago. It needed an energy partner to provide sustainable solutions at the park. We began by modeling how we could make this happen, discussing a variety of solutions with different users. Recently, Beetmann started the construction of a number of DG plants, some for the common areas and some for specific users. We are working on pipeline processes to reach the final deployment of the project. In addition to our DG solution for common areas, we will provide qualified supply services to large off-takers, sometimes mixed with qualified supply, turning it into isolated supply. We are working on a much larger project on-site to provide energy to those in the qualified supply scheme as well, avoiding a main market risk of grid congestion differences.

 

Q: How does Beetmann’s ecological pillar further contribute to Mexico’s sustainability?

A: In this somewhat independent area, we work with organic residue and transform it into an organic fertilizer. There is a great opportunity in Mexico’s agribusiness segment to transform organic waste into something that benefits the soil. At the end of the day, it is about closing the circle, bringing back what has been taken from the soil in a proper way to avoid damaging it. Our efforts in this area have moved from agriculture to the municipal environment as well. We also plan to move toward waste-to-energy, either through biomass or biogas. However, we are not there yet because the economic model is not yet self-sustainable.

 

Q: What targets has Beetmann set for itself in 2021?

A: We are looking to supply over 300GW/h this year for qualified supply. In the area of DG, we are developing over 40MW. Every MW/h delivered through the grid saves 0.5 metric tons of CO2 emissions, so we are saving around 160 million pounds of emissions. We will sell some of the DG projects and keep others on our balance sheet. There are many options for final users to boost their sustainability and take control of their electricity bills. It is not just about lowering costs; it is about consuming less electricity in general. As large consumers, your responsibility is to make your business as sustainable as possible. Beetmann aims to be a professional but personal partner along this path.

Beetmann is focused on achieving sustainability through energy and waste management. Its three subsidiaries are focused on distributed generation, energy optimization and eco-management. 

Photo by:   Beetmann
Cas Biekmann Cas Biekmann Journalist and Industry Analyst