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Soaking up the sun’s energy

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Enerray was established in 2007 and now has subsidiaries in ten countries. It is the 100% owner of offices in Morocco, Romania, Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Costa Rica, and the company has local partners in a number of other countries, such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Thailand, where it provides the engineering know-how while the local partner serves with market penetration.

Enerray supplies turnkey solutions with medium to large-sized photovoltaic systems for industrial roofing, shelters, on-ground installations and greenhouses, complemented with lifelong maintenance.

“We do not do any production ourselves,” says General Manager Michele Scandellari, who joined the company in 2009. “We are a pure EPC company: engineering procurement and construction. Instead we buy models from tier-one Chinese suppliers. The mounting structures come from various sources. Local partners install the modules under our engineers’ supervision.” Enerray’s solutions are also customized to the clients’ exact needs.

The company’s two primary pillars are rooftop installations and ground-mounted modules. The rooftop variety is usually used by industrial clients to produce the energy necessary to operate their facilities.

Ground-mounted assemblies, by contrast, are normally for private or government-based clients, who feed the energy into the grid. The preference also varies by country.

“The Middle East tends to prefer ground-mounted modules in the 20 to 50 MW range,” Mr. Scandellari explains. “Thailand has been a ground-mounted market so far, but as of next year, they will also have industrial rooftop installations. Central America is a mixed market.”

The Italian market is not the size that it used to be as a result of regulations preventing the installation of more ground-mounted systems. Therefore, Enerray is more active in rooftop systems here. “We are optimistic that the domestic market will improve in a few years, but for now our expansion is primarily abroad,” Mr. Scandellari adds.

In terms of service, the company offers a warranty on the accepted installations and has begun entering into long-term operation and maintenance (O&M) contracts. “We have an internal department at our headquarters with remote control to monitor our clients’ plants at all times,” Mr. Scandellari says. “Of course, we have controls at each of our subsidiaries, as well, to serve our clients more locally.”

Enerray targets sectors with stable energy consumption. In Italy, this means well-known companies like Ferrari and Max Mara in the luxury sector or distributors and supermarkets.

“The frozen food sector, for example, is a major energy consumer all over the world,” the General Manager says. “For clients like that, producing your own energy is a huge advantage.”

Enerray finds these clients by targeting particular industry fairs. In addition to industries, the company has different country focuses. It aims to improve the Latin American market, specifically in Chile. The UAE in particular and the Middle East in general have potential for the company, as does Western Africa. To tap into these markets further, Enerray also attends the most important trade fairs in the respective countries.

The company, a member of the industrial group Seci Energia, Gruppo Industriale Maccaferri, has a solid reputation on which to build. As a pure EPC company, Enerray stands out from the competition with all the certifications necessary for high quality. The company is also involved in development, which not every supplier can say for itself.

“We position ourselves in the middle between small, local players and major global companies,” Mr. Scandellari continues the list. “We also take our obligations towards our clients very seriously.”

In less than a decade, Enerray has grown to have nearly 30 employees in Italy, 20 in Turkey and about 50 throughout the rest of the world at its subsidiaries. Its profits have fluctuated greatly over the past few years due to investments in foreign markets; however, the company aims to double its sales this year.

In the coming years, Enerray anticipates big challenges in renewable energy. “Solar energy is here to stay; it makes so much sense,” the General Manager begins. “The only thing we are missing is storage for the energy produced. That problem should be solved in a few years’ time, hopefully.”

The availability of efficient storage will change the market dramatically. Cities will be served at peak consumption times, regardless of the production rate at that moment. Massive power generation is also a topic for grid operators. “Storage has been a problem since the invention of electric power,” Mr. Scandellari says. “It is not easy, but the answers are on the horizon.”

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