According to the US EIA, from July 2012 to April 2015, distributed solar photovoltaic customers quadrupled in Puerto Rico while generating capacity increased by a factor of nine, bringing distributed solar capacity to 37 megawatts. Electricity fuel surcharges decreased as the price of oil dropped during 2015, but Puerto Rico's retail consumers still paid more for their power than consumers in any state except Hawaii, often exceeding $0.20/kWh! While many in the solar industry watched in horror as the state-run utility, PREPA, drove the RPS-driven Utility market into the ground, a few local players silently created a veritable distributed generation solar market. Among those players is Maximo Solar, ranked #146 on the Solar Power World list of the top 500 North America installers, and the leading installer for Puerto Rico, at least in 2015, with >30% market share.
Bienvenidos and Welcome to Episode 22 of SunCast, and Episode 4 in the Latam Founders Series, which is being brought to you through a special collaboration with Enphase Energy. We're rockin with this new Series, having a lot of fun, and as I mentioned 2 weeks ago, some of them are in English, and some are in Spanish. Today's episode is another in Spanish, as you can see in the Title by that little "ES" in brackets.
In this episode, you'll meet Maximo Torres, founder of Maximo Solar in Puerto Rico, along with his GM, Jonattan Martir. Today's episode was actually recorded live in Las Vegas back in September during the annual Solar Power Int'l conference.
I call Maximo the Solar philosopher, and it's true. He has an infectious passion for solar, and it's no surprise that his company is one of the strongest in the Puerto Rico market. I've never met another solar founder who was this effusive about his beliefs in self-improvement, the state of the energy sector broadly, and the fundamentals of building a good business.
There are some real goodies in here, so take some time to listen intently, as we discuss:
Choosing between the large utility-scale markets, C&I or Residential
- The importance of having a growth mindset, and the resulting view on competition
- The value of being extremely customer-centric
- One internal tool they've used multiple times to expand beyond their current product offering into profitable new segments
- The two most important people in a solar company, and aligning corporate values around them
- And so, so much more
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And be sure to check out all the rest of the episodes in this Latam Founder series - stay tuned!!!
Resources in today's episode:
About the Author:
Nico Johnson is the creator and host of SunCast, a regular conversation with Solar Industry professionals who are leading in emerging solar markets. The content of the show is geared towards listeners looking for insights on where the markets are headed, how to position themselves or their companies, and what today's market leaders do to stay ahead of the pack.
Nico is a 10-year veteran of the solar industry, having led development in the US and Latin America for global companies like Trina Solar and Conergy. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala and is considered one of the market's leading experts on solar PV expansion in the region.
Nico can be reached on Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickalus
or by email firstname.lastname@example.org