Gamesa India, the country’s major wind turbine company, intends to further its presence in solar by manufacturing inverters at its new blade plant at Nellore, Andhra Pradesh.The company’s Chairman and Managing Director, Ramesh Kymal, told BusinessLine recently that the inverters that will be produced there are the ‘1500V inverters’, for which there is a growing market.The solar photovoltaic industry is now moving towards the ‘1,500V architecture’, from 600V earlier and 1,000V later. The effect of which is to reduce costs further, estimated between ₹30 lakh and ₹50 lakh per MW.
The ‘1500V architecture’ basically means that the solar modules are connected in such a way to handle higher voltage, which implies lesser current in the system.As a consequence, there will be savings in components such as combine boxes and length of cables.Industry experts say that this was not possible earlier, because the inverter technology was not developed for the 1500V architecture. However, it has now. As such, there is a big demand for 1500V inverters and there is a supply constraint.Gamesa wishes to catch this trend. Making the inverters locally would help the company be competitive, Kymal said.
He said that Gamesa’s customers for wind turbine are asking the company to also build solar power plants for them. Gamesa has so far built 67 MW of solar power projects (for others) in India.It expects to do another 150 MW in the current year. As such, it has a captive market for its inverters.
Meanwhile, Gamesa expects, on the basis of orders on hand, to see 1.5 GW of its machines installed in India this year, compared with 1,003 MW last year.If it achieves the number, it would cross the 4,000-MW mark.It is widely expected that India would see record wind power installation in the current year.
Industry leaders such as Kymal and Tulsi Tanti, Chairman of Suzlon, have estimated the market to be between 4 and 4.5 GW. Gamesa’s 1.5 GW, then, would constitute a third of the market.Kymal said that Gamesa India took four years to cross 1 GW of installations, but 17 months to do the second 1 GW and nine months to do the third.