First Ranking of Solar Power Plants in Gujarat

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.

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30 thoughts on “First Ranking of Solar Power Plants in Gujarat”

  1. Great Work …. Hope MNRE learns and undertake similar studies for plat across india

  2. Good Report on Generation side. Please include also some ground learnings.. such as issues faced in installation as well as O&M of the plants.

  3. Great work, Excellent Information. However as you rightly pointed in executive summery data on type of module – c-Si vs.Thin Films, type of inverter – Central vs. String, etc. would be much more useful for yet to mature Indian solar Industry.

    1. Thank you Bharat. If the stakeholders are willing to share the data freely, we will definitely do an in-depth analysis of the technologies for the benefit of the industry as a whole!!

  4. Hello Madhavan, Also any information you can share on plants with / without Trackers. I know 2 plants which have used Single Axis Trackers but they seem to have same CUF as others with fixed tilt.

    1. Hi Vikram,
      We do not have enough information about the plants with/without trackers. We will get that information and include it when we update this whitepaper a few months from now. If possible, can you share the details you have?

  5. Great work.
    Just was interested to know whether the CUF has been taken based on Gross injection of power or Net Injection of power to the grid. Normally SLDC deducts the imported energy for Billing purpose. However, Gross Injection is a better indicator of the plant performance

    1. Thank you!! We have taken the data that has been made public by the SLDC. I am not very sure if it is Net Injection or Gross Injection. I believe that the difference between these two will be negligible(say 1-2%). What has been your observation?

  6. Very useful report..just what I was looking for. One exercise I was looking inputs for was the actual/factual ROI. If the report can be enhanced with capital expenditure incurred along with all items of operational expences (including interest/debt payout) it would help us build a better understanding of the financial health of the projects.

    1. Thank you!!
      It is possible to build a generic financial model using the yield generation, but unless the stakeholders share information very freely, it will not be possible to understand the ROI for each of the plant.

  7. In CUF based Ranking, type of Module must be mentioned as thin-film/tracking gives more energy.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. We do not have enough information at this stage about the module type used in each of the plant. We will update the whitepaper with the type of tilt.

  8. Great Work , ….
    report was outstanding. happy to see the potential of solar in gujrat. will you please send a comparative sheet of solar power capacity (generation & CUF) between gujrat & rajasthan .

    1. Thank you Mr. Rajneesh. We do not have a good comparison between the two states, but are working on it. We will share it once we have it ready.

  9. There is lack of enough explanation and analysis and implications/criticism/future trends in the white for layman or policy makers to understand and take cues. It is easy for techies to understand the paper. Hope next time they may be considered. But the paper is good attempt.

  10. Great Work
    This gives really great insight into how this industry is shaping vis-a-vis it was anticipated. This would definitely of great learning.
    As pointed by other it would be good to know if we can have following things.
    1. Panel used
    2. Invertors used.
    3. Performance Ratio figures (if available)
    4. Reasons of lesser PLF in projects with similar better performing plants.
    5. Current O&M issues (cost comparison vis-a-vis planned). Wind/Sand/Cleaning issues.
    I have been lately following your website regularly. It provides great stuff. If you have updated report, would be happy to glance through updated figures.
    Best wishes.

    1. Thank you very much, Ankit. We have actually highlighted the panels and inverters used for several plants. The other information is not publicly available and we could not include them. As and when we get such information, we will update the report.
      Thanks again for your feedback and we are very glad that you found our work useful.
      Madhavan

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