Patricia Tatto
Partner and Country Head of Mexico and Central America
ATA Renewables
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View from the Top

Untapped Opportunities Await

Fri, 02/01/2019 - 11:15

Q: Which of ATA’s divisions are most active in Mexico?

A: ATA has four business units: ATA Advisory, ATA Engineering, ATA Certification and ATA Insights, all of them operating actively in Mexico. Our advisory and engineering areas are a single unit offering services such as natural resource assessment, technical due diligence, construction management, asset management services, and other types of special projects. Our expert engineers provide support to financial institutions, developers, government and utilities. We are independent engineers with expertise in the field. ATA Insights and ATA Certification are the newest additions to the group, having been incorporated two years ago. ATA Insights involves business intelligence and marketing for other companies. How our divisions operate depends heavily on how the market is being developed. In Mexico, we work with projects under development, under construction and those that are already in operation.
Q: Why should companies consider moving into Mexico’s energy sector and how does ATA support these businesses?

A: We provide technical and financial advice that helps our clients understand the Mexican renewable energy landscape and what their opportunities are within that landscape. Many foreign investors are concerned about the incoming government’s policies and we advise them that renewable energy projects will continue to make sense because of their economic, social and environmental value to the country. Globally, Mexico has the cheapest prices for electricity per kWh coming from its renewable energy resources. This is the best sign an investor could get. Mexico’s renewable energy sources are economically viable and offer environmental benefits. For ATA, these are two key factors for moving forward with a project.
Q: What differentiates ATA from other consultancies in the energy industry?

A: We like to offer our clients a personalized service. We fully understand our clients’ needs and most of the time we work hand in hand with them. For instance, we help our clients select the technology they require, provide advice on building their project and help in the tender to hire the right contractor. We also help our clients optimize the project, providing them with perspectives from different markets and offering advice regarding certain layouts or technologies we have seen in other places. We work closely with every single client. Since we manage very sensitive information, we prioritize confidentiality.
Q: What are your clients’ main concerns regarding the long-term electricity auctions?

A: I think that everyone involved in the renewable energy industry understands there are a variety of options for participating and even if many say that they would never participate in an auction, they have a very clear strategy for participating in other projects through PPAs or in the Mexican Electricity Market. As a new player, it can get really tricky to participate in a long-term electricity auction at this stage but that does not mean that companies cannot participate in one scheme or another. ATA helps also in this process.
Q: How prepared is local human capital to excel in the energy industry and what role can women play?

A: As a country, we are still inexperienced in many aspects related to the renewable energy industry. However, we are moving in the right direction, professionalizing, helping and teaching new generations the necessary technical skills to generate good results in the renewables arena.
One area that still needs improvement is the gender imbalance that exists in the industry. We still do not have enough women working in the sector. We are developing a study that will measure how many women participate in the market, how many get into STEM-related positions and the level of education required for women who want to enter the market. It is not about how many women get into university. We want to gauge their expectations and analyze what career opportunities are available to them.