This month’s CEO series video presented by GE features Jose Benjumea of Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), a global leader in the development of long-term solar energy projects. Thanks to support from GE, the company is leading the way toward a more sustainable future around the world.
FRV began in Spain, when Mr. Benjumea and his brother decided to enter the world of entrepreneurship. Recognizing that the demand for energy was growing, as was the need for renewable sources of it, the two set out to build a business based on the mission of generating electricity using an inexhaustible and environmentally friendly source: the sun.
A partnership for growth
With a drive to grow and expand their solar energy operations, the brothers began discussing potential partners. According to Mr. Benjumea, GE’s interest proved that a well-known company with a lot of experience and knowledge in the space believed in the work they were doing at FRV.
Today, GE Energy Financial Services owns 30 percent of FRV, and because of this support, the company has expanded to Italy, France, the United States and Australia.
A global and local strategy
Regarding FRV’s entrance into the U.S. market in particular, Mr. Benjumea says that the goal was to “be global and local at the same time.” The idea ultimately means that FRV believes in expanding to new markets while tapping the skills and knowledge of local people who share the same spirit and environmental mission.
With this strategy, FRV recruited Mark McLanahan, senior vice president. According to Mr. McLanahan, the recent emergence of multi-megawatt projects suggests that solar energy will likely grow by more than 100 percent in the next few years.
One of FRV’s key projects in the U.S. is in southern Nevada at Nellis Air Force Base. With more than 72,000 solar panels, this 14-megawatt project provides proof that large-scale solar energy production is possible. According to Nellis,
the project was expected to produce more than 25 percent of the Air Force base’s electricity.
FRV is yet another company whose environmental mission has been significantly expanded because of GE. With a long-term commitment to operating high-quality, reliable solar power projects around the globe, FRV is a leader in the solar industry and one of the top three growth companies worldwide in the sector.