“So what about the solar energy market? We have not even scratched the surface yet. There is absolutely no need to listen to naysayers.”
“The solar energy market is stagnant for the moment, both locally and overseas. We are not down for the count. We will bounce back.” Hanvit D&S’ CEO Lee Hyun-hwa sounds supremely confident. He is a believer in the famous Pareto principle, named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, or the 80-20 rule, which reasons that 80 percent of the results come from 20 percent of the causes. “Our industry is a typical example of the Pareto rule, and the efforts and time that we put in to our work, in maintaining the top position, have started to show. I am not worried.”
Hanvit D&S was established in 2001, and specializes in providing a one-stop solution for designing, supervising, consulting, and managing new and renewable energy systems for solar, bio, geothermal, and wind energy, and fuel cell and Energy Storage Systems (ESS). Recently it has increased its international standing by participating in solar energy power projects in countries such as Mozambique and Algeria. Lee Hyun-hwa said, “Africa suffers from a lack of adequate power, and offers highly valuable market opportunities.” Then he further stressed, “We will spread our span of business globally.”
Solar Power Total Solution is a service that provides step-by-step consulting on each stage of building a power facility, before the actual start of the project.
Hanvit D&S was in charge of designing and supervising the nation’s first 150KW class plant, which was built in Marado Island.
In the MW power class, Jeonnam Province’s 1 MW Kangjin Solar plant was designed and is now supervised by Hanvit D&S. Design and supervision of the Taean (14MW) and Boryeong (10MW) solar power plants are projects of Lee Hyun-hwa’s company as well. There are well over 100 solar energy power plants in the country, and the total amount of power generation is 200MW.
Lee said, “Design is a critical element in building a solar power plant. The drawback of solar power is the relatively high cost, compared to that of nuclear and thermal power. As such, managing the efficiency of solar power generation is crucial in determining the feasibility of the project and the plant’s commercial value. That efficiency factor is decided in the design stage.”
Hanvit D&S has also recently formed partnership with Korea Veterans Association (KorVA), which is known for its conservative guidelines in selecting partners. Both parties adopted the slogan Realization of Energy Security and signed a memorandum of understanding.
A source with KorVA said, “We have gone through extensive review of many companies specializing in consulting for solar energy. And Hanvit D&S was a company that satisfied both our requirements on the depth of technology understanding and the level of trust.”
With this agreement, Hanvit D&S will set out to work with KorVA in overseeing its energy power business. With years of experience and expertise under its belt, Hanbit D&S will provide consulting on solar energy development, site surveys, grid-building, approval, and maintenance. Hanvit D&S will work with KorVA closely, sharing information on efficient energy management and producing eco-friendly businesses such as solar energy power facilities and energy service companies, or ESCO.
Lee Hyun-hwa said, “Based on our knowledge and experience, we will facilitate cooperation in the area of energy management.” He then added, “With our KorVA partnership, We will hope to enhance the nation’s capability in efficient energy management.”
Lee Hyun-hwa was a smart and bright kid in middle school, but he had no choice but to take night classes because his family was poor. He had to divide his time between studying and working.
Lee recalled, “We were extremely poor. I worked a number of jobs and night shifts, including auto repair and newspaper delivery. I ended up finishing middle school for industry technicians relatively late.”
He also took night school when he entered college, at Chosun University in Gwangju, to study electronics. During the day he worked at Korea Coal Corporation’s Hwasoon Sales Office. While working the day shift, He managed to get his master’s degree in electrical engineering. With aspirations and the ambition to reach higher ground, he moved to Seoul and began working in Seoul’s Rapid Transit System, formerly Seoul Metro, where he became a leader of the labor union.
“I resolved the conflict that labor was involved in, with itself and with the management, through negotiation and dialogue. Upon reading books on labor conflicts I discovered that the relationship was not one-sided in favor of labor unions. It was designed to benefit both the management and labor.”
He received trained certificates in semiconductor, lighting, telecommunications and fire management. Mr. Lee said, “I did not want to be pigeonholed to being an electronic engineer. I wanted to become an expert in many different fields.” He also said, with confidence, “A common thread can be found in a lot of different disciplines, and it is not really that difficult. Anyone can do it.”
In 2010, on The Ninth Annual Technicians Day, he received a Science and Technology Medal. It is the highest achievement award for electrical construction and electrical engineering, and so he became a figure known for both expert knowledge and field experience.
Lee also introduced a role model for a solar energy plant when he was charge of the design and supervision of the The 13.3MWP solar power facility at Jeonnam Young-am F1 track solar energy facility, Yeongheung plant, Korea’s first solar energy plant with a power capacity of over 11MW.
Lee also dug deep into his professional life and published 10 books based on his experiences from his early years, including Basics of Electronics, Solar Energy for Low-Carbon and Green Growth, Design and Construction of Solar Energy Power, and Solar Energy Made Easy. The books not only cover theories and technological aspects of solar energy but serve as basic guides on marketing, including even customer service. His experiences in design, engineering and field supervision were responsible for getting the books written and published.
In his books, he said, “I explained in detail the design, construction, and application of solar energy during construction, site management, service, and marketing. Thus everyone from technical novices to field engineers and businesses entering the field could use the books as guides. I felt that there was a lack of adequate guidebooks in the industry, and it propelled me to write.”
Lee received a doctoral degree from the University of Seoul in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and is currently a professor and faculty member at Korea Polytechnic University, Gwangju University, Suwon Science College, and Seoil University. He is actively involved in many organizations as well, as a Korea Electrical Contractors Association lecturer, a member of the legislative committee at Korea Electric Engineers Association, Korea Technology Society’s APEC committee member, a supervisor for the Korea Construction Electrical Equipment Technology Society, and Korea Environment Corporation’s Design Consultant.
He has also overcome cancer, and regained his strength and spiritual energy.
His ambition and aspirations have no end. He has just entered law school in Hallym University’s Graduate School of International Studies. He said, “As Korea gains further prominence in international business, with increasing trade volume, the demand for US lawyers is increasing.” The university’s law school is partnered with US law schools, and provides a curriculum of general US law as well as preparation for becoming US lawyers.