Delivering Renewable Energy Solutions

BayWa r.e.
Written by Claire Suttles

BayWa r.e. is bringing renewable energy solutions to North America through its wholly owned subsidiary, BayWa r.e. Solar Projects. The company focuses on its customers’ needs to deliver tailor-made renewable energy projects from concept to reality, making it profitable for the customer over the long term.
Globally, BayWa r.e. also covers the entire spectrum of professional technical plant support services, including maintenance. It can undertake the commercial operation management of solar and wind power plants. Additionally, the range of services includes the trading of renewable energy power, trading in biomethane and selling of eco power and gas to commercial customers.

Since its inception BayWa r.e. has become one of the most well-respected project developers and system suppliers around the globe, facilitating the delivery of more than 2.5 GW of renewable energy to the grid. The company’s ultimate goal is to increase the utilization of renewables at a global level. To make this possible, BayWa r.e. employs local expertise while leveraging the financial security of parent, BayWa AG.

As a result, BayWa r.e. has the foundation it needs to forge a strong path within a burgeoning industry. “The renewable energy industry, generally speaking, is still a fairly young one—and certainly a young one in the U.S. and Mexico,” says BayWa r.e. Solar Projects CEO Jam Attari. “We are leveraging the history and tradition [of] a strong German parent, one that is a credible player in the space. We aspire to be the most professional organization in the business, where our customers and partners can depend on us to deliver on our promises.”

Strong local network
The company understands that its goals cannot be achieved without widespread cooperation. BayWa r.e. is “one that looks to partnering both up- and downstream with other entities to achieve mutual success,” Mr. Attari explains. “We understand the importance of partnering with local firms because, at the end of the day, the renewable energy industry is very small in the overall energy picture so the ability to partner—and partner reliably—is a key capability of ours.”

BayWa r.e. selects suppliers carefully, both for their ability to deliver the highest quality goods and for their commitment to responsible manufacturing practices. The team strives to use fair trade products and aims to buy local when possible. For instance, the company’s Novotegra installation system components are made in Germany. The production of DC mains isolators and the pre-assembly of the individual components of the company’s installation system are carried out by workshops run by the Bruderehaus Diakonie. These workshops provide people with disabilities an opportunity to expand their horizons and earn an income.

State of the industry
Renewables are becoming more cost effective throughout the world, making it an ideal time to enter the market. “What we have seen—beginning with Peru earlier this year, and then Mexico, and the Middle East—is that the cost of renewable power, specifically solar power, is the lowest cost energy resource in those markets.”

The United States is behind other markets, but the nation is making rapid progress toward increased cost savings in regards to renewables. “We are not there yet in the U.S., but a lot of the learning and value engineering that we do to deliver at those low prices is coming to the U.S. at a much faster pace than it has in the past because of this internationalization of renewables. Our expectation today in the primary markets—in the east coast, west coast markets—we are close to the levelized cost of energy from fossil sources. For commercial customers, we are well positioned to deliver power prices significantly below what they are able to purchase from the utility networks – that is only going to continue to grow.”

Attari adds, “There is a network effect going on in the market where there is an increased velocity of price compression across the value chain, which is delivering lower energy prices. Sooner than later, renewable sources are going to be the lowest cost of energy available in most of the U.S.”

BayWa r.e. is ready to take full advantage of the dropping prices. “The U.S. is the largest energy market in the world and renewable [energy is] single digits across the country, so it is really an incredible opportunity for growth,” Mr. Attari points out. “As we take a look at the next three to five years, our company is anticipating [substantial] growth.” For now, BayWa r.e. is “still a small part of a very fragmented renewable sector,” but the company is poised to make a real difference in the market as more and more consumers and businesses embrace renewable energy as a viable alternative to fossil fuels.

“We are going through a broad transition where, a few years ago, people were looking to renewables to help satisfy internal requirements at the utility level to meet renewable standards, or at the company level to become more green. Today, and certainly into the future, renewables are going to be the right choice not just because it is a green source of power. It is because it is going to be the lowest cost fuel source available.”

However, there are still some key technology hurdles that must be overcome before renewables can reach their full potential across a broader market. “The growth challenge for renewables is the ability to integrate across our specific technology and find ways to deliver power reliably 24/7/365.” Currently, the industry is focused on developing better storage options, particularly in regards to solar. Once accomplished, this advancement will take the industry to the next level.

“We are looking to create around-the-clock energy supply,” Mr. Attari summarizes. “That is going to be the next big challenge. From a solar perspective, we are quickly becoming the lowest cost fuel source during the daytime. We need to figure out ways to integrate across other technologies to really occupy the broader energy provider position. It is the long term challenge and opportunity that we are focused on achieving.”



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