Meet The Speaker
Alejandro Moreno Benitez, General Manager, Latin America, Energy Group, Canadian Solar
Can you tell us a little bit of Canadian Solar’s history in Mexico?
We have been working for more than 6 years in the country. Initially, looking for opportunities under the “Pequeno Productor” and “Autoabasto” schemes and in a second step, participating in all the tenders, with success in the first one (Aguascalientes – 68 MWp awarded) and the third one (Horus, Tastiota and El Mayo projects for a total of 370 MWp).
Can you give us any updates on your Aguascalientes solar plant?
Aguascalientes was energized in December 2018 and COD was officially declared in January 2019. We successfully closed the bridge finance with Natixis in Q3-2018 and by the time this conference will take place, the long-term finance will be already closed with Bancomext and Banco Sabadell.
How have the recent changes in government affected you and how do you foresee things playing out over the next few months?
We really believe that tender mechanisms and the energy reform have been very positive for the development of renewable energies in Mexico. On the other side, we also understand the initial position from the new Government but we are optimistic and believe that with some time to analyze all the information, they will realize all the benefits that all the renewable energy plants are bringing to the electricity market and what it is more important to the population.
What is your opinion on the cancellations of the upcoming renewables round?
As mentioned before, we hope that the Government will revert the decision or implement a similar mechanism in the short/mid term after they have had time to analyze all the assumptions and the impacts in the system.
What are your strategic priorities for the next 12 months?
We have a lot of work ahead of us related to the portfolio of projects awarded in the Third Auction. Apart from finalizing the permitting works, we should start the execution and construction of some of those projects and close the project finance for all of them.
What is the best career advice you have ever received?
After 14 years in the PV industry and a “believer” of this technology, I still remember the words from one of the first leaders in the industry that told me “we should be glad to do what we are doing. We are helping to change the energy market and to create a better and cleaner world for the next generation.” We should be proud of all the work that we are doing and how we are helping to change the rules.