Renewable solutions company, Suzlon, has invested close to $250 million in the last five years towards R&D and plans to continue investing in this space with an aim to reduce the cost of energy further by 20-25 per cent in the next five years. The company’s annual capex is in the range of Rs 300-400 crore each year, which is spent on maintenance and R&D of current and future products.
The company is focusing on lowering the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE) by 20 per cent in the next five years with new turbines, more efficient turbines to make previously unviable sites viable, increasing its plant load factor and stabilise the grid in India. The company is envisioning gigawatt size projects supported by increasing digitisation and best-in-class service.
Talking about the company’s R&D strengths, Tulsi Tanti, chairman and managing director, Suzlon Group, told Telangana Today, “We are industry leaders particularly in aerodynamic technology which is one of our biggest USP. We have our R & D centres in Germany, Netherlands, Denmark and India. Last year, we established a Blade Science Centre in Vejle, Denmark, which will work on the development of aerodynamics, pitch control systems, smart controls and new structures.”
“Aligned with the government agenda, we are striving for sustainable and affordable energy for all by focusing our R&D efforts on developing high yield products that effectively bring down the LCoE and improve customers’ Return on Investment (ROI). This has resulted in path-breaking products.”
The company’s new area- Wind-Solar Hybrid solution is expected to leverage the complementary generation cycle of wind and solar. This enables better utilisation of the existing grid and also helps to save land and power evacuation infrastructure costs. Suzlon has a competitive advantage due to its existing development pipeline, infrastructure and Operations, Maintenance and Services (OMS) team of over 2,300 highly skilled technicians.
Additionally, Suzlon is developing advanced wind farm management technology to further optimise the performance of the wind farm. “We will develop the ability to tailor not only the individual turbine’s performance with smart pitch control, but also to optimise the downstream wake-effect of all turbines in the park from any wind angle,” he adds.
Also the company believes that digitisation of OMS services through improved IT will help better harness the power of its data so that systems such as SCADA can be further leveraged. This will offer improved transparency to its customers and increase generation through remotely applied algorithms.
Further, to ensure optimal utilisation and integration of the grid, the company is stepping up efforts and resources on scheduling and forecasting of wind power. The company is continuously improving the forecasting of wind which will measure the quantity of wind energy available and provide information on the frequency, voltage etc. in real-time. This will help utilities to better plan their load dispatch schedules.
Tanti explains, “We relentlessly carry out continuous improvement programmes such as value engineering for cost and weight reduction and performance enhancement to improve energy output for existing products. Suzlon continues to improve its design tools, software methods and know-how to decrease our product development cycle time for better future developments.”
The company’s annual capex is in the range of Rs 300-400 crore each year, which will be towards maintenance, capex and R&D for current and future products.