STI Norland’s impressions after Solar Power International 2108
STI Norland has taken part in Solar Power International 2018 which had place in Anaheim, California, from September 25th to 27th, a world reference trade show where the main companies in the photovoltaic sector take part.
We want to share the first impressions of STI Norland’s team who assist to event, Adrián Pérez Redondo, Head of Sales and Business Development in North America and Mexico, Óscar Aira, Chief Sales Officer and María Barbarin, Head of Proposals and Contracts.
María, can you tell us the innovations showcased by STI Norland at SPI 2018?
- We introduced for the first time to the North American market our new solar tracker, the STI-H250TM, which is the only Dual-Row system available on the market. This product combines the advantages of adaptability to high slopes and irregular layouts, which are the strengths of single-row trackers, with the reduction in the number of electromechanical equipment, offered by multi-row trackers. This combination results in a reduction for both the CAPEX and OPEX costs. With this product STI continues laying on maximum reliability (STI has one of the highest availability ratios on the market) and thereby optimizes the cost of ownership for the power plant.
Adrián, what is the reason that drives you to participate in this show?
- SPI trade shows are the benchmark of the photovoltaic sector. This annual activity in the USA is the meeting point for the main players on the market, not only nationwide but also from neighborhood countries. For us, it is highly valuable to maintain a personal contact with our customers and partners with whom we may exchange e-mails daily, but a face-to-face meeting allows us to strengthen the relationship and enables the opportunity to establish new cooperation possibilities.
Óscar, after these long days of meetings and events, what is your first impression of STI Norland's participation in SPI?
- We are very satisfied with our participation. I don’t have number regarding the assistance to SPI, but as far as we are concerned, we have had an agenda full of meetings with clients and suppliers, both known and potential. Now we have to continue working to make possible that the potential projects and now lines of work discussed these days became real projects and material results.
Certainly, during the event you visited other booths, was there any product or service which caught your attention?
- This year, for the first time, the photovoltaic energy sector and the storage industry have come together in a single trade show. It’s surprising the number of companies working in storage systems, micro-grids, electric vehicles and control systems which may allow a greater percentage of renewable energy and in particular solar photovoltaic generation into the electrical mix.
- It’s really amazing to see how fast the market is evolving. Just a couple of years ago we started facing curtailment in certain regions and now there are plenty storage options at competitive prices which may enable a higher flexibility for the power plants and grid operators. Additionally, storage systems are not only allowing to move this excess production making it available a different hour of the day but also offer added values as network services.
How do you value the situation of the company in the American market?
- For us it is very important being conscient about where we are and where we want to go in the North American market. STI Norland is a small player in a highly competitive market with a framework which has become unstable after the recent commercial tensions and regulatory changes. Therefore, we do not intend to become one of the main suppliers, but we do expect to have some activity in a market, which despite its ups and downs, we believe will continue to be active in the long term. Solar energy has proven to be the cheapest source of electricity and the transition will be, slower or faster, but it is unstoppable.
What are your plans for the future?
- Continue working, doing things well, delivering a quality product on time and price. These are the best arguments to strengthen the confidence our current customers have in STI Norland and to win it with the new ones. Our business plan targets to increase our portfolio of installed projects by 1.5 GW per year in 2019 and 2020. To do so we will continue to be active in the markets where we are currently present and we will be attentive to new opportunities in emerging regions. Particularly, USA will be one of our main targets, it is time to stand firm in this market where the financial sector has a very relevant weight. I am sure that our values as a company will be highly considered, which are the reliability and quality of the product throughout its lifetime. For us, to defend zero risk for our clients means filling us with pride after each sale.