Mario Muñoz
CEO
Solar Center
/
View from the Top

One-stop Shop for PV Systems

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 12:32

Q: What is Solar Center’s unique proposal for Mexico?

A: One of our main differentiators is being Mexico’s most complete PV distribution center. Our products and solutions portfolio is not only meant for interconnected PV systems but also for off-grid PV systems, solar refrigeration, urban lighting systems and solar-powered water pumping, among other applications. We also cover residential solar thermal power products and pool-heating systems. We are the country’s only one-stop shop for PV installers and integrators. Solar Center is backed by 30 years of experience in PV systems. Our company started with two passionate people with an idea for a solar business and became a successful company employing more than 60 professionals. We strive to see a different Mexico, less dependent on oil and benefiting from a true energy revolution. 

Q: How does Solar Center provide the best solutions in PV systems?

A: Our 30 years of experience allows us to offer the most complete product portfolio relating to PV systems, as well as training sessions, workshops and weekly online webinars to make sure our clients are getting the most of our products and guaranteeing optimal installations. We give our clients the tools to become solar experts. Solar Center also offers a user-friendly online quoting system, where our clients can consult professional quotes for parts and products for an interconnected PV system in under three minutes. We are even adapting this quoting system to be used through a smartphone app. 

Q: What key factors make a logistics network efficient?

A: Logistics is at the core of our business line. Solar Center has strategic warehouses located in Guadalajara, home of our parent company, in Monterrey to cover the northern region and in Mexico City to cover the central region. We are about to open another two: one in Queretaro and we are analyzing the possibility to cover Mexico’s southern region with a warehouse located either in Merida or Cancun. We have also created strategic alliances with several reputable logistics companies to guarantee stipulated delivery times.

Q: How do you choose which brands you integrate into your portfolio?

A: Solar Center’s policy is centered on integrating products for which it has personally visited the manufacturing plants. We also hire professionals to monitor the quality of the manufacturing process of the products we order. Three critical factors are a constant for us. First, the brand has to be authorized for import into Mexico. Second, the company must have an excellent reputation and the brand should not be distributed by too many suppliers. Third, the company should be listed on the stock market and have solid and verifiable financial statements. We also choose brands that do not compete directly with each other, always emphasizing product quality. For instance, Jinko Solar is the major brand in the Tier 1 segment while Seraphim Solar is specialized in new PV technology development. 

Q: How can Mexico’s solar market shield itself from lowquality components?

A: By certifying installers and product quality controllers. Installer certification is a must as the quality of the installation directly impacts the performance of the PV system. Mexico’s solar market is progressively maturing and we will ultimately reach a point where product quality will be guaranteed with minimum certification requirements. Low pricing is not sufficient to guarantee a prosperous business in the long term.

Q: What is Solar Center’s vision for the future?

A: We expect residential, commercial and projects lower than 500kW will continue to grow. Operating PV systems in these three segments only represents 3 percent of the market in Mexico. The country's capacity to absorb utility scale is finite, while Mexico’s distributed generation market is ripe for the taking and Mexico’s electricity grid has yet to feel the impact of such a large and untapped market. DG will continue growing parallel to Mexico’s housing and urban sectors.