Alejandro Cobos
Head
NOTUS Energía México
Thomas Tack
Thomas Tack
Head
NOTUS Latin America
/
View from the Top

Wind Developer Eyes Solar Operations

Fri, 02/01/2019 - 12:26

Q: What expertise does NOTUS Energy bring to Mexico through its subsidiary NOTUS Energía México?

AC: NOTUS Energía México has strong support from NOTUS Energy’s headquarters in Germany, not only from the brand but from the quality of the company’s internal processes. Even though most of these processes have undergone an adaptation phase in Mexico, the company started with a structure that has been improved and successfully implemented. Mexico based the opening of its energy market on different studies and the previous experiences of other countries that today have standardized the industry’s best practices. Nevertheless, time plays an important role. When the energy transition took place in Germany, the understanding and adaptation process took eight years and Mexico probably will follow a similar timeline. Every player in the market is going through a learning process and it will take us a few years to understand how the market should operate.
TT: From my point of view, project finance and technical developments are the main areas in which the company seeks support from its headquarters. When Germany undertook its energy transition 20 years ago, the system was based on a highly-subsidized regime. Additionally, the developed projects were smaller and the company was not used to utility-scale projects and interconnection processes. It took time to understand how the industry worked, especially in the wind segment. The advantage in Mexico is that people already are knowledgeable about this.

Q: What strategies is NOTUS Energía México adopting to improve its foothold in the country?

AC: For the moment, NOTUS Energía México depends solely on foreign investment. Our goal is to have a stable flow of income that maintains our operations and incentivizes growth. The projects we started three years ago are just starting to mature to the point where they can be commercialized. NOTUS Energía México has been selective in terms of which company it sells its projects to. We consider ourselves a boutique developer and we make sure that our customers understand the value of every project.

Q: How are technological advancements helping to develop the wind segment in Mexico?

AC: The new generation of wind turbines allows us to take better advantage of the wind resource. Technology has improved rapidly and right now the challenge is more economic rather than technical. As a project developer, the company’s strategy is not based on establishing alliances with technology providers. This allows the off-taker to decide which turbine is better for every application. NOTUS Energía México proposes the best turbine for each case and by not collaborating with any one company in particular it has more freedom regarding this choice, fostering competitiveness.

Q: What main objectives does the company want to achieve by the end of 2019?

AC: NOTUS Energía México entered the market as a developer. Four years ago, the company identified a special interest in wind projects. Nevertheless, the first long-term electricity auction was an important lesson for every project developer given the resulting strength of the solar segment. The company has to move forward with this new market and become more dynamic. To date, its portfolio encompasses large-scale utility projects in the wind and solar segment but the company is also participating with distributed generation installations. Our nature as a project developer is evolving and now turning to the EPC and operator niche in distributed generation. The objective of establishing a solar distributed generation business department is to learn the operating principles from the beginning and to advance from there. NOTUS Energía México just started the construction of one distributed generation project with the aim of launching operations right away. At the same time, we keep developing large-scale wind and solar utility projects.