Premier Solar Systems started its journey 22 years back in the solar sector when it was in nascent stage. It made Hyderabad as it headquarters beginning its operations in home lights integration and setting up a 3 MW solar modules making plant. The company is now planning to begin solar sell manufacturing and is on the verge of commercially launching a range of electric vehicles.
Incorporated in 1995, with just five employees and Rs 25 lakh seed capital, an engineering graduate Surender Pal Singh commenced small scale solar home lighting integration. The first solar panel rolled out in 1998 and went to NREDCAP.
Recalling the early days, Singh told Telangana Today, “Advantage with solar is the least raw material dependency unlike other forms of power generation methods. The only investment needed is in operation and maintenance. In the initial years, we struggled to convince that power can be generated through solar cells. We had teething problems. Banks took time to understand the potential. But finally, State Bank of Hyderabad and IREDA backed us and nothing stopped us thereafter.”
The company promoted by technocrats with decades of technical expertise and business experience has set up 40,000 sq ft advanced manufacturing facility in Hyderabad and its R&D team. It is now looking at new avenues in the broader solar ambit. Premier Solar has focused its activities in Solar PV, using Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells for generation of electricity/rural electrification. Apart from Crystalline, the company also provides thin film framed solar panels in technical collaboration with a German Partner.
Premier Soar that earned global quality certifications today exports to 15 countries across Europe, Africa and Asia.
The second generation member and managing director of the company Chiranjeev Singh Saluja said, “We have opened a 200 MW automated solar module manufacturing facility at Annaram Village in Sanga Reddy district of Telangana. This facility has created jobs for over 500 people, both direct and indirect. We earlier had 175 MW capacity. The total investment has been Rs 100 crore in the company’s operations so far. We plan to invest another Rs 400 crore adding 625 MW taking the total capacity to 1 GW in next 5 years.”
The company is expanding its manufacturing capacity in the solar modules space. The company wants to take the capacity to 1 GW in modules manufacturing. It currently has a capacity of 50 MW for Solar Cell and wants to create a capacity of 1 GW in next 5 years.
Premier has evinced interest to set up the solar cell making plant in Telangana near the existing facility and the State is keen to extend all the support. It plans to invest Rs 1,200 crore in this plant.
Premier has also installed over 10,000 water pumps for agriculture and drinking water across 9 states in India. It has electrified over 200 remote, inaccessible habitants, tandas in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Electric vehicles foray
The company has spread its wings to foray into eco-friendly solar powered Hybrid e-vehicles. These vehicles will be in the form of Solar e-Rickshaws, Solar Cycle Rickshaws, Solar e-Bikes and Solar Bicycles. The company will initially market its brand of e-vehicles in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and will expand its reach nationally in near future. The vehicles will be available from August onwards.
The company spent about 18 months in testing the vehicle. It is currently holding talks with State Bank of India and Oriental bank of Commerce to fund electric vehicles upto 80 per cent.
The idea is to make these vehicles affordable for auto rickshaw drivers. The company has also sought the government to include electric rickshaws in the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric vehicles in India (FAME) scheme.
The Hyderabad facility will make 200 electric vehicles every month. With metro rail project nearing completion, the company foresees demand in connecting townships and colonies with metro stations. It also plans to target colleges and resorts in the city. The vehicles will be emission free.
Singh says, “We are trying to contribute our part in the nation’s vision to become all electric by 2030. Electric vehicles will bring down the pollution levels and will do away any fuel dependency. Our vehicles will be government approved as well cover insurance, which is usually unseen in the segment. We will continue pursuing our solar dream even in future.”