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EQ in Exclusive Conversation with Mr. Ramesh Nair, CEO, Adani Solar

EQ in Exclusive Conversation with Mr. Ramesh Nair, CEO, Adani Solar

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Q.-1: Please share your Road Maps with our readers.

RN: Multi-crystalline modules continue to be our main product, but we are aggressively moving towards Mono PERC and Bifacial and currently have ~300 MW operational Cell and Module capacity to service international markets. There are good prospects for products such as Multi bus bar, heterojunction and half cut cell modules in the near future. We believe that the India market will soon shift towards Mono PERC and high efficiency multi modules. In terms of binning, we are looking at 345-355 Wp for Multi-crystalline PV Modules in the next 12 months’ time period. With the Mono PERC and Bifacial, we should reach 380-390 Wp in the next 6 months and with the half cut technology, we are targeting to deliver 390-400 Wp in the next 6 months. We are also working on new technologies which will get us to greater than 400 Wp in the next 12 months.

Q.-2: What opportunities do you see with Bifacial, PERC, Wind-Solar Hybrid, Floating Solar?

RN: We are already ready with products for Floating Solar; we have been spearheading the manufacturing on Bifacial & PERC since inception and leading the efficiency curve amongst the Indian manufacturers with more than 21.5-22.5% efficiency range in the PERC & Bifacial process. Within the PERC, PERT Bifacial technologies are interchangeable most of the times. Our future road map will be more towards improvements at the module level offering lowest LCOE for the final user/ developer. Since the inception of Adani Solar, we have been early adopters of production and manufacturing technology. Adani Solar is India’s first vertically integrated business that offers products along with services across the spectrum of photovoltaic manufacturing. Going forward, we will convert greater capacity from Multi to Mono depending on LCOE trends. We are rapidly scaling up and trials are underway for multi wire or multi bus bars for better reliability, performance and efficiency.

Q.-3: What are the trends in new manufacturing technology equipment, materials, processes, innovations etc.?

RN: Industry is seeing some interesting changes on the PERC, PERT, HJT, TopCon manufacturing where multiple manufacturers are trying new technologies. It is easy to implement new technologies provided the supply chain for the entire value chain supports in terms of wafer availability and technology availability. There are certain technologies that offer very high wattages, but do not support the LCOE benefits at current market conditions due to high input cost. Economy of scale should be driving costs lower and we at Adani Solar are geared to meet the LCOE roadmap.

Q.-4: What is the likely price trend of solar modules in upcoming quarters?

RN: In the current scenario, solar modules are competitively priced. Further price reduction is unlikely. However, with the introduction of more advanced and efficient solar modules in the near future, there will be a notable reduction in cost of ownership.

Q.-5: Kindly enlighten our readers on the performance of your modules in India in various geographic locations, customer feedback.

RN: Our performance has been quite phenomenal where our modules have been installed over the last 3 years since inception. We have seen very less degradation – less than 2-2.5% over 3 years’ time period, which is much superior to our warranty terms. We are also performing exceedingly well in the PR (Performance Ratio) comparison data in various plants of our IPP partner companies where we perform superior to PVSYST estimated generation data YoY.

Q.-6: Technology road map in terms of 1500V , Double Glass, BiFacial Cells, PERC/PERT Technologies, upcoming game changes technologies .

RN: We are the 1st Indian manufacturer to be certified for 1500V System Voltage and Double Glass module for Mono, Multi and Bifacial offering 30 years’ warranty instead of the standard industry practice of 25 years. We are well geared to increase efficiency of Multi, Mono and Bifacial at the cell level on all technologies suiting all segments of the market globally. Our roadmap for the next 12-36 months is more suited towards the LCOE shift of the market, which will end up offering the lowest cost per unit energy.

Q.-7: Explain various guarantees, warrantees, insurance, certifications, test results, performance report of your modules.

RN: We see industry trends of increased warranty from 25 years to 27 years to 30 years. We are offering 30 years for 2-3 of our SKU’s of Bifacial and PERC. As explained, our degradation for 3 years of field data has been around 2-3%, which is below the stipulated 4%. We are offering 3rd party insurance against insolvency, power and performance, which are certain levers for better bankability. Recently an independent report from a reputed firm rated us as the most bankable Indian module.

Q.-8: Comment on the warranty claim rate, rejections, replacements etc.

RN: Our warranty rate is below 200 ppm – one of the lowest and also the best in the industry over 3 years and almost all the claims are non-technical, which increases the confidence level for our process, technology and reliability.

Q.-9: What is the retail market expansion plan of Adani Solar and what are the objectives?

RN: We aim to enable consumers, SMEs, MSMEs and institutions to gradually switch towards sustainable solar power at a capex cost which delivers more value. We have successfully activated eight of the fifteen states planned. We aim to achieve greater reach and visibility for our product in the country by bringing down power consumption costs for our consumers across the country and by reducing load on the grids.

Q.-10: What are the main markets for Adani Solar?

RN: India continues to be one of the most promising markets. We are also present in the United States. There is a significant demand for our products in Northern America. We are also gradually exploring newer avenues in Europe, Australia and the Far East.

Q.-11: What according to you are the current opportunities, biggest challenges, in Indian solar market?

RN: The Indian Solar Market has come a long way in the last 2~3 Years. We have seen huge swings in module prices due to Chinese dumping which was checked by Government of India’s measures such as Safeguard duty etc. The Government has come up with a host of different schemes and policies to encourage / promote Solar adoption in the country. In order to further grow the domestic manufacturing sector, the government needs to continue its policy push in terms of effective and timely implementation of schemes such as KUSUM, CPSU Etc. Indian Utility Scale customers are now demanding High efficiency Multi / Mono PERC modules in a bid to lower project costs in view of lower PPA tariffs. C&I and Rooftop sector are taking up solar adoption in a big way and are poised to be the main drivers of growth for the next 2~3 years. The biggest challenge in our view is to ensure Asset quality of India’s solar installations by reducing dependence on Lower Quality / Cheaper Imported components such as modules inverters etc. while keeping the price competitive.

Q.-12: What differentiates your company’s offerings from competitors?

RN: I think the most important offering for any module manufacturer is reliability, i.e. product reliability and company’s reliability. With Adani Solar you get both, as we manufacture cells and modules in-house, we are also looking at more capacity of vertical integration, which will be a one-of-its-kind in India. We are bringing the best quality product backed by the Group’s reliability. That is our differentiating factor from other manufacturers who are only dependent on solar business.

Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network

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