Solar PV sector in India is maturing. From being a virtually unknown sector in 2009, Solar sector has come a long way, having crossed the 1 GW mark in 2012. During this relatively short journey of 4 years, the sector has seen several eventful things – the drastic price drops caused by the huge oversupply of PV modules, trade tensions and the growth of PV deployment across the world.
In India, the growth of the sector has kick started by the state of Gujarat. The state allotted projects of close to 1 GW in 2010, and a significant number of those projects were commissioned in 2011. Almost every major developer, EPC and component manufacturer from India got an opportunity to take part in the Gujarat solar boom. Several global PV manufacturers and inverter suppliers also were able to deploy their components and systems in Gujarat.
When the projects were installed and commissioned, there were lot of uncertainties – solar resource availability, performance of the modules, inverters and other components under Indian conditions, or more specifically, Gujarat conditions, grid issues, operation and maintenance challenges, among others.
At RESolve, we were quite interested in understanding the performance of these plants, but we waited till January 2013, since we felt that we could get some meaning insights only after we had performance data for at least one year. Towards end of January 2013, we started collecting the month-wise performance data for the plants in Gujarat and analyzed them. We then ranked them(purely based on their electricity generation). We did one set of ranking based on the months of operation of the plants and another one only for plants in the Charanka solar park. Since most of the plants in Charanka solar park were commissioned in March 2012, we took only the performance for 10 months.
M/s Konark Gujarat Pvt Limited had the highest performance among plants that were operational for at least 1 year whereas M/s NKG Infrastructure Ltd was the highest performing plant in Charanka solar park. The performance of most of the plants were clustered around 18% Capacity Utilisation Factor(CUF).
In addition to the performance of the plant, we also did an analysis of the PV module and inverter technologies used in Gujarat for close to 500 MW. This information was provided to us by M/s Movya Consultancy, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. First Solar had the highest market share among PV manufacturers with about 30% share in this 500 MW, whereas SMA garnered more than 50% market share among inverters.
We are sharing our findings in the form of a whitepaper below. Please feel free to download the same and let us know your feedback.
Subscribe to RESolve Energy Consultants : Perspectives and Insights by Email