Marco Kapernik
General Manager Mexico
Astronergy
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View from the Top

Hands-on Availability for DG Companies

Fri, 02/01/2019 - 13:44

Q: What key elements make Astronergy the ideal partner for PV developers?

A: Astronergy is a global company with a healthy balance sheet in the Tier 1 market. We represent 2.5GW of annual production, growing slowly but steadily. We opened our Queretaro offices in July 2018, a legal entity designed to work as a full-fledged Mexican company. The idea is to place our products directly into the hands of our Mexican clients, with the added value of local representation for after-sale services. Our clients also can bypass import procedures because we take care of those aspects. They can pick up solar panels and PV components directly at our local warehouse, as we are developing a large stock of on-hand products. Queretaro’s status as a logistics hub, both by land or by air, was highly attractive for our business operations. Its proximity to Mexico City and its competitive real estate and storage facility costs were added benefits. We are looking to set a strong foothold in Mexico’s residential and distributed generation markets for PV systems of up to 500kW. Astronergy’s products and solutions can meet the clean-energy requirements of both the commercial and industrial sectors.
Q: What flagship products or services are you looking to provide to Mexico’s PV market?

A: Astronergy wants to introduce its in-house 370W bifacial modules to Mexico’s PV market. Under the right surface conditions, bifacial modules can generate greater efficiency gains of up to 40 percent compared to standard PV modules. Our value proposal comes from our 30-year warranty and a slower degradation process. Per year, bifacial modules degrade by 0.5 percent, compared to the standard 0.7 percent.
Q: How is Astronergy working to successfully cement its market foothold in Mexico?

A: We have a professional with a long-standing career in renewable energy who started in Spain in 1992, building strong business relationships with developers, EPC companies, developers, financiers and equity funds. We are looking to establish the same strong business relationships with Mexico’s local midsize distributors that allow direct sale of our products for distributed generation projects to develop a strong market position. Astronergy obtained international certifications, such as the UL and ICE. We can comply with the strictest quality norms in countries such as Brazil, the UK and the US.

Q: What R&D advantage are you looking to showcase in Mexico?

A: Astronergy’s R&D laboratories work full-time to find further efficiencies and to reinforce the quality of its existing product portfolio as well as to find new products that best adapt to the necessities of the PV markets where we operate. Every three months, the efficiency of our modules increases, improving our power class.

Q: What is the added value of Chint Electrics’ holding in Astronergy?

A: Chint Electrics is a large multinational company, that incorporates businesses that work from basic products, such as electric plugs up to high-voltage substations, conferring us the capacity to combine the entire portfolio of components that Chint Electrics provides. For instance, we supplied the entirety of the components required for Isuasol’s PV park, including the inverters, substations and the junction boxes.

Q: What are Astronergy’s growth plans in the near term?

A: We are determined to help bolster Mexico’s distributed generation sector. For companies such as Astronergy, the package prices showcased in each edition of the longterm electricity auctions are extremely aggressive, leaving rather thin margins. We believe the market size of mid to small-scale installations to be considerably larger and more profitable and we know from experience a PV market stands taller with several points of support rather than relying on a few projects, however large.