Solarever, LONGi Partnership Boosts Solar Innovation in MexicoBy María José Goytia | Tue, 06/07/2022 - 16:42
As the world’s 15th biggest economy, Mexico’s credentials as a manufacturer and exporter are well-established. This potential has not gone unnoticed by internationally leading photovoltaic (PV) solar module manufacturer Solarever. Through various innovations and a new partnership with global solar tech groundbreaker LONGi, the company aims to drive the Mexican solar sector forward.
Founded in 2012, Solarever has quickly positioned itself in the Mexican, US and Colombian markets backed up by its various certifications and good practices. By 2013, this enabled the company to work with the Mexican government on various projects, said Ana Laura Barrales, Sales Manager, Solarever. In 2014, the company opened its first semi-automatic plant in Mexico. A year later, it opened its first research center in China, which supports all state-of-the-art solutions. According to Barrales, Solarever was quick to expand its reach to the US, which greatly expanded its PV capabilities and allowed it to become a leading company in the field, supported by its ISO-9001-2015 certification.
As a technological frontrunner, Solarever began encouraging local R&D among renowned Mexican universities like UNAM and UAM, while registering at least 10 patents related to renewable energy per month with the Mexican Institute for Industrial Property.
To date, the company has opened its second Mexican manufacturing plant, which is also the largest of its kind in Latin America. It boasts completely automated processes, six production lines and a capacity to construct 1,800 modules daily. By 2021, Solarever achieved various certifications that support its work: CSA, UL, the FIDE stamp and the Made in Mexico accreditation.
“Our added value is precisely our national origin and our continuous efforts to not only manufacture in Mexico, but also to encourage the development of local technology through our nine recently opened R&D centers across the country,” Barrales said.
Financing Is Key to Solar Access
A fundamental part of solar project development is the financial options available to users to make capital-intensive investments. To increase availability, Solarever has partnered with Financiera Bajío to offer financing solutions to its customers, explained Sergio Camacho, National Executive Manager for Leasing, Financiera Bajío.
Through leasing, Solarever's clients can finance up to 100 percent of the value of the solar project through Financiera Bajío, which is much more than the maximum of 80 percent offered by traditional creditors. In addition, the financing strategy reduces project costs by calculating taxes on the amount sans the value-added tax (VAT), which is instead paid by the client during each lease term.
Under the traditional financial leasing scheme, the asset is owned by the lessor, not the lessee. However, under Financiera Bajío’s scheme, the company sells the asset at a symbolic value to the client at the end of the lease term. This allows the customer to obtain ownership of the investment in its solar assets thus making the technology more accessible.
Innovation and New Applications in Solar
The solar industry is growing rapidly and changes constantly. Therefore, solar companies must always stay ahead and think about what the future will bring. "A company that does not constantly seek new technologies is a company that is doomed to become obsolete," said Carlos Gutiérrez, Production Deputy Director, Solarever.
According to Gutiérrez, the solar industry faces three main challenges. First is the design of the national transmission and distribution networks, which are not made to sustain the intermittency of renewable power production. Second is the balance between an electricity generation system’s efficiency and sustainability. Third is the legislation and culture around renewables. "One of the main challenges is the need to change the understanding of solar energy from an expense to a long-term investment," Gutiérrez explains.
Solarever sees these challenges as growth opportunities that ignite innovation. To address them, the company works to develop more effective solar modules, inverters and storage systems, increasing the efficiency, durability and reliability of PV systems. In addition, Solarever invests in the development of Industry 4.0 monitoring and control systems, leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve the operability of its systems.
Solarerver is also looking to expand into electric vehicle (EV) solutions and energy storage systems (ESS), while innovating in the production of cells, modules and more efficient operation and monitoring systems. The company’s passion for solar and renewable energy led it to develop a highly competitive ESS. “These solar panels are new storage systems that provide better service to our clients, from industrial to domestic,” explained Mayela Cifuentes, National Manager ESS, Solarever.
Understanding the energy industry, Solarever works with national manufacturers and distributors, going from a single screw to the entire storage system to avoid disruptions. “Our ESS and hybrid systems support large energy consumption profiles, equivalent to those of a village, a government or a large industrial plant,” said Cifuentes. The company offers two types of domestic batteries, one regular version and one master version, differentiated by their control panel. The batteries use thermostat lithium with a 90 percent depth of discharge, which is 5 to 10 percent above the average. It has 6,000 discharge cycles, with a well-above average 10-year warranty, according to Cifuentes. The livestock, domestic and mining industries are among the economic sectors that could benefit the most from these systems, she added: “These options are giving flexibility to the electrical system, fomenting sustainability, and creating greater competition in the PV solar market.”
Focus on Automotive
Solarever’s plans for the automotive industry, especially regarding EVs, stand out. “The company is striving to reshape the future of the automotive industry in a sustainable, tech-based manner,” said Javier López, Solar EV Marketing Manager, Solarever.
Mexico has a great platform for many companies in the automotive sector, which has also spurred on development for Solarever. However, the current period of recession and sustainability requirements have forced this industry to reshape its offer. As a result, many new EV innovations have emerged, boosting this market’s sales by 279 percent compared to 2021.
Solarever wants to excel in the EV industry and be a pioneer in sustainable mobility in Mexico via an integral offer based on a monitoring system, which can manage PV solar systems for EV charging stations. “We have developed a sustainability plan to improve national infrastructure and thus democratize tech. This mobility plan is supported by novel tech solutions like AI for voice control, autopilot and parking,” explained Víctor Martínez, Project Leader, Solarever EV. The company’s mobility proposal will soon have environmental certifications as well as safety credentials.
A New Partnership Toward Solar Excellence
Within its continuous trajectory of innovation and excellence, Solarever begins a new stage by signing a commercial agreement with LONGi, the world’s currently most valuable solar energy technology company, aimed at boosting access to state-of-the-art solar innovation in Mexico.
LONGi leads the solar PV industry, flaunting breakthrough innovations in monocrystalline technology. The company has a market cap of US$8.24 billion and supplies more than 80GW of solar modules each year, equivalent to 25 percent of the global demand. The company’s added vertical integration, focused on sustainability, makes LONGi the most valuable solar technology company in the world. "At LONGi, we like to see our customers as strategic partners that allow us to achieve long-term joint goals," said Ivan Reyes, Sales Director LATAM, LONGi.
With the signing of this alliance, Solarever will be in charge of distributing LONGi's Tier 1 solar energy solutions in Mexico and Latin America. Meanwhile, Solarever will be supported by the solar technology giant to optimize its technological innovation and manufacturing processes to strengthen its Mexican brand.
"Global energy markets have reached an inflection point, with consumers and investors demanding cleaner alternative energy sources. The challenges to implementing this technology in Mexico are diverse, from quickly adjusting the processes in the production line to ensuring that the technical regulations are adapted to the speed with which innovations arise. However, with partnerships such as the one forged with LONGi, Solarever seeks to play a relevant role in the energy transition in Mexico and the Americas," said Simon Zhao, President, Solarever.
Both LONGi and Solarever are committed to making innovation their long-term value proposition in the solar market. "Our collaboration is a perfect match," continued Reyes. Moreover, through this new partnership, Solarever consolidates its Mexican leadership as a top solar company that drives national renewable energy innovation forward.