Tata Power’s Tirunelveli fab to produce solar cells from next month

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Praveer Sinha, CEO and managing director, Tata Power, said  their 4 GW solar cell manufacturing facility in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu will start getting commissioned from next month. The facility will stabilize and reach the peak production capacity of 4 GW over three months. The company has already commissioned its 4 GW PV module manufacturing facility in Tirunelveli, which is fully operational now.

The Tirunelveli factory will cater to Tata Power’s own requirements, especially for projects with domestic content requirement (DCR) obligations.

“We are setting up this plant only for meeting the DCR obligations for the home purpose..we will [also] be able to use it for our own utility-scale group captive as well as for rooftop opportunity if that comes out [with the launch of the PM Surya Ghar Yojana program],” said Praveer Sinha, CEO and managing director, Tata Power.

Tata Power claims to have nearly 20% share of the domestic rooftop solar market. It looks to maintain its leadership position as the segment sees renewed focus with the launch of the government subsidy scheme for residential rooftop solar.

“The main benefit [of the government scheme for residential rooftop solar] is to consumers who use 1, 2 or 3 kilowatts of rooftop solar. The trend that we have seen based on the people who have registered, the first one crore household, more of it is 3 and 2-kilowatt. So, what we can expect is the average of about 2.5. So, it means about 25 to 30 GW of rooftop has to be implemented in the next three to four years,” said Sinha.

As the company chases better returns in utility-scale, it is focusing on bidding for hybrid as well as fixed-duration renewable energy (FDRE) projects instead of pure solar or pure wind.

“[Last  year] we won a large quantity of business, especially in hybrid or FDRE-based bids. We expect that this year also, many of those types of bids will come, hybrid as well as the ones with solar, wind, BESS solely. And we will actively participate in all of them,” said Sinha. “Since these [projects] are little complex, there would not be too many players who have the capability to execute projects like this, and thereby we will be in a much better position to bring better bids as also win with much better margins.”

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