In what ways are you planning to transform your presence in Mexico?
We are in the process of strengthening our presence in Mexico. We currently have a significant footprint on combined cycles, around 2.7GW, as well as participation in wind and solar projects, but our growth strategy is moving downstream and towards renewable energy projects. One of our areas of interest is distributed power generation for commercial and industrial (C&I) customers so that we can build projects on site, which can be of a different nature. These could go from small engines to solar projects with our sister company Forefront Power. We could add storage and do several other things on the distributed area. We are also in the process of starting business activity as a Qualified Supplier to supply power with attractive conditions for C&I customers. We want to present ourselves to our clients as an integrated utility provider, by offering not only a wide range of solutions on the power side including energy management services but also water treatment through our other sister company Atlatec.
Why do you expect a boom in demand for distributed power generation in Mexico?
There are two reasons: cost and reliability. Typically, big combined cycles have been considered more efficient than small power generation units due to scale cost, which translates into lower cost of investment, maintenance and gas consumption. That cost gap between large and smaller projects is now becoming narrower. In addition, we expect the cost of natural gas to remain low, which makes the efficiency not that critical. Then OPEX, or the operation and maintenance cost, is also becoming more efficient thanks to the technology of not only the hardware but also the digital tools. The ability to manage power plants remotely and predict failures all lower maintenance costs. The other reason is resiliency and the ability of the consumer to become isolated from the grid if there are problems of supply. If we add solar power or storage, then today there are more possibilities to adapt to the needs of clients through these solutions. Today in the US, the most common buzzwords in the power sector are resiliency and microgrids.