According to reports, the Voltech Group of Chennai and US-based NanoPV have joined hands to set up a 100 MW solar module manufacturing plant near Chennai and a solar park near Tuticorin.
Voltech is a medium-sized group that manufactures transformers.
Setting up a cell and module manufacturing plant may appear foolhardy at a time when global majors are being toppled by Chinese companies’ onslaught and the slowdown in the European economy. But NanoPV’s President and CTO, Dr Anna Selvan John, says the company has a unique and patented technology that enables it to be competitive.
“NanoPV has unique technology based on amorphous and nano-crystalline silicon and proprietary light-trapping and “transparent conductive light-trapping oxide technologies,” says the company’s Web site. Because of this, NanoPV’s cell manufacturing involves one-third the process cost and “300 times less amount of material consumption.”
Voltech’s Managing Director, M. Umapathi, said the group has a factory building near Chennai where it once produced textiles. NanoPV intends to bring in plant and machinery from the US and set up a production line here.
The initial capacity would be 10 MW and would gradually be ramped up. Umapathi estimates the cost of the project to be Rs 100 crore.
Another joint venture of Voltech and NanoPV is setting up a 100 MW solar farm near Tuticorin. It will be implemented in phases, and work has begun on the first 10 MW project.
In this venture, the UAE-based company, Arab Gulf Pearl Trading, is also participating, taking 50 per cent of the equity. This project, too, will cost Rs 100 crore.
Work has commenced on the first 2 MW project, which will be completed by March 2013. The other 8 MW will be ready to produce power by the end of 2013, Umapathi said.
NanoPV says its modules can generate 1.8 million units of electricity per MW each year.
The joint venture intends to enter into power purchase agreements with industrial consumers in the State, forming a ‘group-captive’ structure.