We are an all-rounder just like our brand ambassador Ravindra Jadeja: Prashant Mathur, Saatvik Solar

Highlights :

Ranked among the top 5 solar module manufacturers in India, Saatvik boasts an annual production capacity of 1.5 GW with a state-of-the-art manufacturing unit in Ambala (Haryana). The firm is further expanding its production capacity and setting up a new facility unit in the central arm of Gandhidham Gujarat with an annual production capacity of 1.2 GW hence doubling production capacity up to 2.2 GW per annum.

Prashant Mathur, CEO, Saatvik Solar, provides an insight into its export markets, market trends and why it terms itself an all-rounder…

We are an all-rounder just like our brand ambassador Ravindra Jadeja: Prashant Mathur, Saatvik Solar We are an all-rounder just like our brand ambassador Ravindra Jadeja: Prashant Mathur, Saatvik Solar

Please apprise us of the latest developments from Saatvik Solar.

Saatvik has been into solar module manufacturing for nine years now. Last year when we met, we were at 1.5 gigawatt, today, we are at a 3 gigawatt module manufacturing. We are launching n-TOPCon, which is the latest solar technology. So, from p-type MONO-PERC last year, we now have TOPCon technology.  We also have undertaken major expansion in EPC and IPP business. Just as our brand ambassador, Ravindra Jadeja, who is an all-rounder, we also consider ourselves an all-rounder for this industry, because we not only manufacture solar panels, but also look after EPC and IPP business. We are in retail, we are into C&I, utility, domestic and export.

What does your export market look like?

We have a sizeable presence now in North America with an office in Seattle. We also have two warehouses in the US, on the east coast and on the west coast. We are also present in Canada. We have a customer base both in the US and in Canada. Apart from that, we are looking at setting up manufacturing there. We are planning to achieve this within the next one year. With IRA is kicking in, it will give  us a benefit for manufacturing locally. Apart from that, from our EPC point of view, we are also doing projects in North America. And also looking at other projects in the Philippines and in other parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

What are your current capacities in the USA and what are the production capacities that you are looking at heading into the future?

Currently, we don’t manufacture in the USA but we are coming up with a plan for 1.5 gigawatts of manufacturing and the plan is to set foot into Texas. We are at the initial phase of this ambition.

The Inflation Reduction Act, as you mentioned, will give a massive push to capacities when they go online. How will this impact the Indian developers for whom the USA is a very important market?

IRA is definitely kicking in, but the USA has a very high energy appetite. This year itself the USA should do around 25-30 gigawatts of projects. But this is only expanding. I think the US will end up doing around 40-45 gigawatts in the coming year. With that kind of demand, local manufacturing in the US is anyway going to take time to ramp up. So, there will be opportunities for local manufacturers as well as for manufacturers in India to supply. So, there is enough business for everyone to survive.

The Middle East and African markets have become very prominent for the Indian solar sector. What are the reasons for this?

Firstly, these regions have very high radiation with large land availability. Besides, there is access to funding as well. The Middle East is stepping up efforts renewable energy. They have been an oil economy and they know that everybody wants to reduce the carbon footprint and oil is going to anyway go away in the future. So, they are all looking at developing their economies outside of the oil business.

The reason why Africa is growing is because Africa has been underpowered. As their economy is growing, so are its energy needs. This explains the move towards renewable sources. That is the jump that they are making, and so you will see more and more projects coming in the Middle East and Africa because of all these factors.

Tell us about your 12 megawatt rooftop project in July. Why has the rooftop segment not been performing as well as it should have outside of Gujarat?

This is a policy-driven industry and Gujarat has fantastic policies that actually drove the rooftop business there. When other states were doing 15, 20, and 50-megawatt rooftop policies, Gujarat was doing 900-megawatt and 1.5-gigawatt type of projects. So, the demand was manifold in Gujarat and that is the reason why you see a lot of rooftops, especially residential and C&I, rooftops in Gujarat. But that is changing now with all the policies that have come up, you will see a rooftop gather pace. They are all now learning from the Gujarat success story. I think that is a good template that they are copying and in the other states, you will see a rooftop happening soon.

Talking about our 12-megawatt project, it is India’s largest single rooftop project and we are very proud of it. The project is currently under commissioning and by the end of October, this project will be commissioned and that will be a record time. Apart from that, we will have another 13 megawatts in the same location, so it is actually going to be a 25-megawatt single project.

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