Solar Energy Sector Has Immense Potential to Grow Within The Next Few Years: Hiten Parekh, Sr. Vice President at Waaree Energies Limited

Solar Energy Sector Has Immense Potential to Grow Within The Next Few Years: Hiten Parekh, Sr. Vice President at Waaree Energies Limited

Hiten Parekh Vice President at Waaree EnergiesFounded in 1989, WAAREE Energies Ltd is a flagship company of Waaree Group. The company has poised as a pioneer in the global solar energy space. To bring on context, the company flaunts India’s largest solar PV module manufacturing capacity of 500 MW. Waaree Energies is a broad presence across the solar value chain providing EPC Solutions, Solar Modules for Grid-connected solar farms, Rooftop Solar, Solar water pumps, Project development services and also as an Independent Power Producer. In a candid chat with Saur Energy’s Sr. Journalist- Santanu Mukherjee, Hiten Parekh, Sr. Vice President at Waaree Energies Limited time travels on the transition of the company and footholds the aspiring technologies which are set to revolutionize the sector. Excerpts.

  1. Can you please share details on company’s projects in support of energy revolution in India?

Answer: As a leading solar power manufacturer in India, our vision has always been to constantly invest in latest manufacturing facilities in order to augment the solar power capacity of India. So far, we have executed more than 225 MW of EPC projects pan India and are planning to deploy our modules to other similar projects soon. The biggest EPC project that we have executed at a single location is a 50 MW project in Madhya Pradesh. We have also executed roof top projects for Kokan Railway and for some renowned companies in India.

Additionally, our solar panels are also being exported to all developed as well as developing nations.

  1. Global green energy firms eyeing India entry. How do you look at this?

Answer: We look at this in a positive way as these firms can bring in latest technology and lots of investment opportunities to India. This is a welcome move considering these opportunities can provide necessary funding required to achieve the target set by the government of India, i.e. enhancing India’s solar generation capacity to 100 GW by 2022. The arrival of such green energy firms can also provide an opportunity for local manufacturers to consider tie-ups with the former in order to significantly enhance their management capabilities, invest in technology, and deliver quality products at an affordable cost to the nation.

  1. Is there any plan to increase your solar PV modules capacity from the current 500 MW?

Answer: Yes, our production capacity is projected to reach 800 MW soon, and we hope to expand it further to 1000 MW by the end of this year.

  1. Waaree started manufacturing Solar PV Modules way back in 2007 in India and now offers a complete range of solar panels right from 4 Wp to 400 Wp as well as complete EPC and turnkey solutions. Waaree has collectively commissioned more than 225 MW of Solar PV projects across India. How has the sector changed over the last 5 years?

Answer: When Waaree Energies began operations in 2007, the solar energy sector in India was at a very nascent stage. However, over the years this industry has become one of the most important sectors for many initiators – government or otherwise. As a whole, this industry looks very promising in terms of power generation and manufacturing of Solar components. Therefore, developments like these are an indication of the fact that things are finally looking up for this sector to gradually prosper in the Subcontinent.

  1. What impact has this development had on your business?

Answer: The various developments within this sector has had a positive impact on our business. Over the years, we have witnessed a growing demand for solar power as a viable alternative to grid in both commercial establishments as well as residential buildings. Catering to that need, we have come up with various solar projects and have more in the line up to be deployed soon.

  1. When you look into the future, what kind of development do you foresee in the EPC segment of solar business?

Answer: The solar EPC segment in India has changed considerably over the past few years due to increasing private clients and entry of several international players in the market. The EPC segment in India is poised to grow and the customers are expecting an International standard EPC project execution. Companies like ours, which has a focus on cost, quality and time for EPC projects are bound to grow in this competitive environment.

  1. Waaree is one of the largest solar PV manufacturers in India providing a complete range of Polycrystalline and Mono PV Modules, for off-grid as well as on – grid applications. What new technology you are working on currently and how soon we are going to see it?

Answer: On the technology front, we are working on 4 busbar solar cells, which is quite new in our country. Also, we have a strategic alliance with US-based Merlin Solar Technologies Incorporation through which we intend to bring the latest technology in solar to India, which would increase the applications of Solar PV.

  1. In August 2015 Waaree launched high performance WSM-345 Monocrystalline solar modules. Did the company used these modules in any recent project or is there any plan to use in upcoming project? (Please specify if any)

Answer: The WSM-345 Monocrystalline solar module was designed keeping in mind the requirements of rooftop solar. This particularly high performance module uses high efficiency monocrystalline cells and can deliver an Industry leading 17.8% efficiency with positive power tolerance. These modules lead to more power per square feet and also help in reducing the balance of system costs. We have used these modules for some projects in and around Mumbai and are also planning to utilize the same in our upcoming projects soon.

  1. What type of potential do you see in the solar sector especially when the government is taking several initiatives to increase power capacity from the renewables?

Answer: With the Indian government taking several initiatives to increase power capacity from renewable sources, we feel the solar energy sector has immense potential to grow within the next few years. The government has shown a lot of support for this industry to ensure that a suitable ecosystem is developed to sustain solar power. One of the most recent examples of this development is the World Bank’s USD 1 Billion aid commitment that can significantly improve India’s solar energy sector. We feel that India can surely benefit through this industry in terms of both cost and power management.

  1. Idea behind Plug and Play solar park ‘Sunbless’ and how it is different form solar PV projects? Are you coming up with such projects and how soon?

Answer: The ‘Sunbless’ Plug and Play solar park is meant to be the perfect solution for those wish to have their own solar PV plants and utilize the power generated for their businesses or act as an IPP without getting involved in time consuming activities like identifying & securing  land , infrastructure development and power evacuation facilities etc. A ready infrastructure minimizes the risks involved in a project and offers economies of scale.  Through ‘Sunbless’, we aim to look after every aspect – from concept to commissioning. I am pleased to inform that we have received excellent response for ‘Sunbless’.  We do have a pipeline of few more plug and play type of solar parks and currently they are under different stages of development.

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