Indian solar module manufacturers have as fair a chance as IT industry in US: Shubhra Mohanka, Gautam Solar 

Highlights :

Gautam Solar, the largest solar module manufacturer in North India, currently boasts capacity of 1 GW. However, the firm is expanding its reach globally too, with US as its primary market.  The firm has four factories in Haridwar, Uttarakhand for manufacturing solar modules & components. Shubhra Mohanka, Director, Gautam Solar, tells us about the ambitions and plans in offing from the firm.

Indian solar module manufacturers have as fair a chance as IT industry in US: Shubhra Mohanka, Gautam Solar  We have as fair a chance as IT industry in US: Shubhra Mohanka, Gautam Solar 

Tell us about the recent developments from your firm.

So, the recent developments are twofold, one is from a capacity perspective. We are doing two gigawatts of capacity manufacturing that we are expanding to now. And the second is from a product perspective, where we have launched n-type TOPCon glass-to-glass panels at this Expo.

How is introducing the n-type TOPCon panels going to impact your firm?

The launch of Ntype TopCon is the next step in technological advancement. It offers more power in the same area when compared to Mono PERC panel. Developers in segments like utility scale, ground mounted, C&I rooftops stand to gain from this technology as it gives more power in limited land area. With reference to costs, n-type TopCon offers BOS saving of 3% of your costs and the power you generate is an additional 5%.

Please tell us about competing solar panel technologies Mono PERC, n-type TopCon and HJT. Which one do you think is going to rule the future?

Mono PERC was basically the most prevalent and popular technology till now and the next one worldwide is, n-type TOPCon. The benefit that it gives is that the size is the same because you see, you can go to any wattage of a panel but the handling of the panel is also very important. So, what n-type TOPCon really gives you is more power in the same size. HJT is a relatively new technology and we have less manpower trained for it. The backend suppliers are also limited. In n-type, because this technology is getting so popular worldwide, the entire supply chain is in place right now.

But doesn’t n-type turn out to be costlier when compared to HJT?

Yes, it is more costly against HJT but this is because it is in the initial phase. With reference to solar, when a new technology is introduced, the cost of it is Initially high, but when actually it comes into scale- prices automatically go down and we can expect the same from ntype TopCon.

Gautam Solar has been proactively marketing through these big banners, pictures. Are you setting your sights more on the C&I sector and residential segment?

Frankly, we are a solar module manufacturer and that remains our ambition, to be a solar module manufacturer only. What are we really doing with that marketing is educating our end users about Gautam Solar panels, because a commercial, residential or industrial person, when making a decision about solar panels, should know that this decision he or she takes is going to be as important as the person that he or she is going to finalize for solar power plant. So, it is not only the EPC that he is finalizing the order with. But the end user should be looking at Gautam Solar panels only.

We want to educate the end users about what’s going inside those solar panels.

Also, you have a huge presence in Uttarakhand and the northern parts of India. So, how do you see your competitive market in those parts?

We are the largest manufacturers in north India. And although our manufacturing facility is based in Uttarakhand, we supply pan India. West and South are very strong markets for us because as a market industry, the size of the market is much larger over there. We are a pan-India player per se. And as we are the largest in North India. Additionally, we are able to provide the benefit of transportation and warehousing across North India.

Please tell us about your export markets.

Presently, we are keenly looking at the US because of the Inflation Reduction Act provisions, and of course, because it has imposed barriers for Chinese manufacturers. So, Indian solar module manufacturers have a great opportunity to establish a good brand in US. I think we have as fair a chance as the IT industry. We are going to be the next IT industry in terms of exports.

 It is believed that the US will domestically be quite relevant and sufficient in the coming years. How will that impact the Indian players?

Whoever gets a market in the US, will definitely establish a manufacturing facility in the US. An Indian manufacturer just needs the market to do it. If today I am making it in Haryana, Haridwar, or Gujrat, tomorrow I can do it in Georgia as well. We will definitely invest in the US.

Tell us about your future plans with reference to expansion, new upcoming facilities, and augmentation of capacities in the near future.

\We are planning to double our capacity within this very calendar year. We are at 1 gigawatt presently and we would be doubling it to 2 gigawatts. Most of it is going be n-type TOPCon.

"Want to be featured here or have news to share? Write to info[at]