Alberto Cuter
General Manager Latin America and Italy
Jinko Solar
View from the Top

Mexico: the Strongest Market in Latin America

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 17:46

Q: Why should project developers in Mexico choose Jinko’s solar panels?
A: Our products are of one of the highest qualities in the global market and we are eager to bring them to Mexico. We have a strong local presence already in the country, and in Latin America overall, with a team that includes technicians and salespeople that in general also support the activities of our customers, particularly the development of their projects. This takes us beyond being simply a solar panel provider but also makes us a local partner for the project developers. As partners, we aim to follow our clients in the entire development process, from the beginning of their participation in the auction until the installation finishes and operation starts. In terms of post-sale services, we also offer a high added value due to our local operations in the country. All of this is reflected in the fact that we have approximately 50 percent of the market share in Latin America and over 70 percent in Mexico.
Q: What project in Mexico could best showcase Jinko Solar’s capabilities?
A: The most iconic project on which we are working at the moment is the Villanueva solar PV park, where we will provide 830MW of solar panels, making it the biggest solar PV project in Latin America. All the modules will be provided by Jinko, and we must say that the very short timelines make it a difficult project. Successfully finishing with the best times in the market makes me feel proud of what the team in Mexico is managing to do so far.
Q: How would you rate the development of the local renewable energies value chain in Mexico?
A: I am happy to see that there are constantly more Mexican EPCs in the market, whereas years ago, the market used to be dominated by European EPCs. This was because Mexico did not really have the chance to pursue these opportunities until a couple of years ago but the country started to create a strong set of companies with expertise in EPC activities. Now, local companies are managing to gather experience and going through learning curves smoothly. This growing expertise is extremely important for the development of the local value chain in Mexico.
My suggestion for the local value chain is to start developing a strong expertise in the O&M segment, since many projects will be installed in the coming months and after they are installed, someone will have to take care of them. Maintenance is a strategic and fundamental part of the development of any generation plant to ensure that production levels remain high. A proper maintenance service should be considered from the beginning of a project to be able to clean the modules and perform preventive maintenance properly. For example, the design of the size and location of the inverters can highly affect the maintenance requirements.
With the extremely low prices that came from the first three long-term electricity auctions, everything has to work perfectly to ensure that the plants remain profitable. This is extremely important since a well-developed and constant maintenance service can increase the life and power output of a PV plant significantly, and Mexican companies have the advantage of being in the country, close to the clients and capable of delivering in short time frames.
Q: What would you like to achieve by the end of 2018?
A: By the end of 2018, we expect to have delivered a cumulative total of 2GW in Mexico, while for the entire Latin American market the goal is to have delivered a cumulative total of 4GW. This means that Mexico will represent almost 50 percent of the capacity delivered by Jinko in Latin America in 2018. In 2017 Mexico was the biggest market for Jinko in Latin America, and I am sure that our prediction will be accurate for 2018.