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Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Mexico’s Quartux provides industry with reliable power, but isn’t so sure about government dependability

Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Contxto – Beware of the duck. Among all the problems of the moment, this is one that the energy startup Quartux, which just installed its first industrial electrical system, could be solving unintentionally.

We have covered many stories already about innovative companies that are installing power generation systems. These solutions tend to be solar, and it makes sense: the sun is the largest and most reliable long-term source for power generation.

Except that it isn’t. On average, solar energy cannot be used for half the day. It is a phenomenon known as “nighttime” and this has led to a problem known as “the duck curve”:

The more solar energy we generate, the more bursts of non-solar (often non-renewable) energy we will need to replace it with when the sun goes down. Unless we can save some of that excess solar energy. That’s where Quartux comes in.

Setbacks to take flight

Quartux’s energy storage system changes the consumption curve, seeking to replace expensive energy with cheaper and cleaner. It does this thanks to its custom control software, which it first installed at Industrias Tamer last month.

The startup says that “this will mean savings of more than 40 percent in the company’s electricity bill and total protection against interruptions in the electricity grid.”

In reality, for a large part of Mexico’s industrial sector, the problem is not “the duck” but something much more basic: The growing number of blackouts was beginning to affect the productivity of industrial plants. This is why Tamer decided to install the Quartux solution.

Interesting to think that a basic supply problem could be sowing the seeds for a manageable renewable energy transition.

Quartux stores runway

Contxto spoke with Alejandro Fajer, CEO of Quartux, to better understand the business model behind the startup.

Quatrux today keeps its business running through bootstrapping. They got a loan to install this first storage system.

But, now with the proof of concept already successfully completed at the Tamer plant, they will be looking to raise capital via a convertible note.

Fajer’s idea is to have a runway for one year’s operations, in addition to growing the software development, sales, marketing team, and developing a pilot project connected to a solar plant.

But, your main concern is neither technical, nor solar, not even financial:

Our biggest challenge is the issue of regulation. To date, these changes have not adversely affected us, but it may be that in the future some may affect our ability to produce savings. For this reason, together with our specific legal advisors for the energy sector, we are very attentive to any changes or modifications to decrees that affect our operation.

-AG

Alejandro González Ormerod
Historian, writer, and editor from Mexico City. He was a book publisher, academic, and cheesemonger before joining Contxto. Still deciding on which Latin American country to visit next; food and fun are the main criteria.

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