Rayzon Was The Second Largest DCR Module Supplier in Residential Rooftop Solar in Gujarat

Rayzon Was The Second Largest DCR Module Supplier in Residential Rooftop Solar in Gujarat

While solar has incubated many startups, manufacturing startups are relatively rare in the sector, as manufacturing remains the toughest part of the chain. Rayzon Solar, the Gujarat based startup that started in 2017 with a 40 MW capacity has expanded to 1.5 GW since then, with plans to go all the way to 5 GW by 2025. The young founders have learnt on the job, and have emerged as one of the achievers in the sector within 5 years, demonstrating a particular ability to execute well on their plans. We caught up Hardik Kothiya, Managing Director.

How has the year started off for Rayzon? How do you see the rest of the year going, and what are your expectations for the future?

Hardik Kothiya Rayzona

Hardik Kothiya, Director, Rayzon Solar

Well, back in 2016 when we completed our college, we were exploring a business opportunity and looking to enter the industry, which was going to experience a boom in the near future. We executed thorough research through many sources, following which, we shortlisted two categories- solar power and artificial intelligence. Following multiple discussions, my partner and I decided to go for solar business because artificial intelligence was too modern in 2016 and there was no proper guidance in this business.

As for solar, there were already players in the market from whom we could extract a lot of information. We were able to learn a lot of things from them and till date, we are learning from our competitors. That’s the reason we are the fastest growing company in the solar modules manufacturing industry.

We had drawn our vision in believing that our customers, partners, and communities should use sun-rays in a simplified way to make their future more vibrant and sustainable. Since the inception, the company has delivered the trust by making highly reliable photovoltaic modules for various domestic, commercial, and industrial applications.

In 2016, we had started 40MW Solar Module Production Line and further we added production capacity in 2019 to 2021 by 110MW, 150MW. And in this year, 2022, we almost achieved our production milestone i.e. 1.5GW. We had a goal to achieve 1.5GW by 2025 but we achieved it by 2022. Our vision is to setup 5 GW capacity for the solar module production line by 2025, along with a 1 GW capacity for solar cell manufacturing. Also, we are working toward making Rayzon truly an International brand

During the year, we saw the start of the customs duty regime on imports, as well as the expansion of the ALMM scheme for domestic projects. Are these steps having the desired impact on domestic manufacturing?

The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has implemented the Basic Customs Duty (BCD) as of April 2022 in response to a long-standing demand from India’s solar manufacturing sector. According to import solar modules’ intense pricing international competitiveness, this sort of action will preserve domestic solar companies. In the long run, a high tax rate will benefit the solar panel industry since it will close the price difference between domestically manufactured solar components and imported solar components. We look at the government of India’s bold step positively for the Solar Industry.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is conscious of the urgent need to protect domestic companies of solar modules from the cost rise competition from foreign providers and to lower the influence of low-cost imports in the Indian solar markets. The domestic company’s capacity to produce solar cells and modules is still in its infancy. To increase manufacturing capacity and to fulfil domestic needs while also meeting high-quality standards, we need a considerable incubation time. Therefore, it would be premature to charge Basic Customs Duty at this time and could lead to a large misalignment between supply and demand if solar cell manufacturing capacity does not meet the module manufacturer’s demand. We believe these steps are desired to protect solar industry but should also provide lucrative benefits in export and domestic supply.

What are your own plans for the future, in terms of expansion and growth?

In the coming years, technology improvements will ensure that solar becomes even cheaper. It could well be that by 2030, solar will have become the most important source of energy for electricity production in a large part of the world. This will also have a positive impact on the environment and climate change. Going forward, the solar industry has very clear cost-reduction roadmaps, which should see solar costs halving by 2030. There is already a move in place towards higher-efficiency modules, which can generate 1.5 times more power than existing, similarly sized modules today using a technology called tandem silicon cells. These are going to have a large impact going forward.

Further, manufacturing developments are in the process that will reduce the quantity of costly required components in the manufacturing of solar cells, such as silicon and silver, as well as innovations like bifacial modules, which enable panels to gather solar energy from both sides. The best way to implement solar energy into our homes, places of trade, and power systems is the other major advancement. We believe Rayzon should work towards a broader vision so we are now working to achieve our new milestones, that is, we are planning to set up a 5 GW capacity for the solar module production line by 2025, along with a 1 GW capacity for solar cell manufacturing.

Various states have shown resistance to residential rooftop, which has not seen significant growth when compared to other areas of solar. Gujarat is an exception to this. Would you attribute the state’s success in this area to the New Solar Policy in 2021, Surya Urja Rooftop Yojana? How has Rayzon Solar leveraged its benefits?

Gujarat has definitely done a great job in terms of residential rooftop solar. Gujarat is the first in terms of rooftop subsidies and also people in Gujarat have grabbed the opportunity of rooftop solar with both hands and people are reaping all the benefits from it. Rayzon stood as the second largest supplier of DCR modules in Residential Rooftop Solar in Gujarat just after Adani Green for last year as per government official website and for this year, it is aiming to be the top DCR module supplier in Gujarat.

However, Rajasthan government also supports solar rooftop subsidy schemes to promote renewable energy. Keeping the central government agenda to the fore, Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Limited has introduced rooftop solar subsidy schemes in which they are providing upto 40% subsidy. Not only Rajasthan but Kerala, Chhattisgarh and other states are also promoting Solar Rooftop Schemes actively.

What are the upcoming trends in solar energy that you are eyeing?

Although solar panels continue to improve in efficiency, residences and businesses may now generate more power in some smaller areas. Solar PV panels are becoming smaller, lighter, and more aesthetically pleasing, which increases their visual appeal. As solar panels continue to improve in performance, individuals and businesses also may produce more energy in a limited footprint.

Currently, the market is moving towards the MBB (Multi Busbar) Solar Cell technology and as earlier stated, it gives 1.5% more output than traditional modules. There are a few manufacturers who produce MBB modules and Rayzon is one of them. Our internal R&D team is working to achieve even higher module efficiency by using greater efficiency cells.

Whereas we see the upcoming trend as bifacial modules production which produces solar power from both sides of the panel. Whereas traditional opaque backsheeted panels are monofacial, bifacial modules expose both the front and backside of the solar cells. When bifacial modules are installed on a highly reflective surface (like a white TPO roof or on the ground with light-colored stones), some bifacial module manufacturers claim up to a 40% increase in production just from the extra power generated from the rear.

In terms of a technology shift, do you see polycrystalline modules having a future in the near and medium term? Wouldn’t they be best served by a thriving residential rooftop segment?

As far as solar cell and module technology is concerned, polycrystalline modules may be workable in medium term. Presently, many states have introduced rooftop schemes and tenders and there is no production capacity for multi busbar cell in India and hence the industry is relying purely on polycrystalline modules. However, polycrystalline solar panels are eco-friendlier than monocrystalline solar panels as they do not require individual shaping and placement of each crystal and most of the silicon is utilized during production.

But after the technology change to multi busbar solar cell, giant project owners are preferring latest modules instead of traditional ones

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