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Saint-Gobain plans solar energy solutions

According to reports, Saint-Gobain India is looking at supplying solar systems here, backed by the group’s solar energy equipment production facilities in Europe.

A division of the company, Saint-Gobain Solar Solutions, will offer and set up rooftop solar photovoltaic systems of a wide range of capacities, according to Mr S. Eisenhower, Director-Operations, Saint Gobain India.

The Indian subsidiary of the multinational Saint-Gobain will import the solar modules from group company Avancis Solar in Torgau, Germany. The facility makes thin film photovoltaic modules.

In recent years, the factory’s capacity has increased from about 30 MW to over 200 MW and is growing, he said.

The factory is being expanded to produce about 300 MW of solar modules annually.

Mr Eisenhower was speaking to Business Line on the sidelines of a seminar on renewable energy on Tuesday.

A company official said the solar division is in talks with integrators – people assembling solar energy rooftop equipment – to offer the Avancis range of modules. The company hopes to build a network of integrators who will use the modules, besides acting as a distribution chain. Saint-Gobain sees particular potential in the hospitality and healthcare segment, where there is keen interest for solar photovoltaic and solar powered-steam generation applications.

The policy environment for distributed energy generation capacity is slowly falling in place, with support for solar power generation as a part of renewable energy options. Also, grid power shortage in many States is driving residential and industrial consumers to set up backup power.

The company is also a major supplier of components the for solar power generation capacities being set up under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

It manufactures curved mirrors for solar concentrators and flat mirrors used in solar thermal applications. It has supplied mirrors to power over 150 MW of such applications under the scheme, the official said.

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