Joachim Goldbeck
View from the Top

Solid Opportunities for Projects Above 3MW

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 15:43

Q: How does Solarnet harness technological improvements?

A: Our focus is to supply something that the customer wants. Usually, the customer wants a reliable PV power plant at a reasonable cost that will work smoothly over a 20 to 25-year period and beyond. Regarding technology, we are continuously monitoring the supply market for modules, inverters and transformers. We also keep a close eye on developments in efficient planning, execution and automation. From a quality point of view, we are in continuous contact with renowned laboratories on the latest research results.

Q: What added value do you bring to the table? 

A: Our company can offer a Solarnet minimum requirements standard and an optimum solutions set, as well as complementary quality extras. This allows our client to procure a solution according to their needs and budget. In our 20-year experience, clients often choose a middle ground between the minimum requirements and the optimized solution to match their individual preferences. This same experience also shows that saving at the expense of quality and using cheap products, while frequently observed in the market, will eventually fall back on you. 

Q: What is your key differentiator?

A: Our expertise in the planning and optimization phase, determined during the developmental phase of the project, is where our differentiating factor lies. This translates into a better internal rate of return, net present value and lower electricity costs for the final client. This issue is often overlooked because standard KPIs are already ingrained in the developer’s mind, which frequently leads to suboptimal solutions in respect to the real value to the customer. The focus on value drivers saves costs and generates resources for all partners involved. We consider ourselves an EPC+ company because we also provide a consulting and planning-optimization service in the early development of the project.

Q: What is your company’s targeted portfolio?

A: Our goal is to install PV plants with at least 3MW capacity and above. We think there is a good opportunity in Mexico for smaller and midsize projects, which are simple to develop, as well as direct PPAs and self-consumption for large companies. These options are easily scalable and you do not have to wait for them to be awarded, so you can work and progress on an individual basis.

Q: What is the comparative advantage of Solarnet's PV products and services?

A: We have done more than 700MW of installations in 10 countries by working with industrial roofs of different sizes and types and sometimes going up to 4MW. Our company already integrates all possible specifics related to rooftops, such as aesthetics and angles, among other variables. We evolved organically from a family-owned industrial construction business and a professional and reliable project execution is ingrained in our genes. We simply transferred this know-how and project focus to solar energy. Case in point: our 50MW project in Sandridge, UK. It took us three months to build and connect to the grid, including a substation of 132kV. 

Q: Are you looking into alliances to deepen your Mexican foothold?

A: We recently signed a cooperation agreement with Ergo Solar. We have been in contact for over a year and we trust that they are capable professionals with a vested interest in disseminating PV solar power in Mexico. As the acting President of the German Solar Association BSW Solar, we are in close contact with ANES and ASOLMEX.

Q: What are your long-term ambitions for Mexico?

A: Mexico has the substance to be a long-term sustainable market with capacity to develop subsidy-free solar power. Our goal is to have a permanent base and a growing volume, from EPC and O&M services to increasingly integrating the value chain through financial and project-development partnerships, even on the off-taking side.