According to reports, solar module manufacturer Canadian Solar and the Italian inverter maker Bonfiglioli have picked up orders for a 20 MW solar project coming up in Tiruchi district of Tamil Nadu.
The project is being put up by a group of five textile companies that have operations in Tirupur, the knitting hub of Tamil Nadu, which is also one of the places worst hit by an unprecedented power crisis.
Mumbai-based Chemtrols is building the plant for the project. Chemtrols is mainly into instrumentation for oil and gas, but also has a solar division.
Chemtrols’ Chief Executive Officer Sharad Saxena told Business Line today that the investors specifically wanted Canadian Solar modules. Answering a question, he said Canadian Solar modules are available for a little over 60 US dollar cents a watt. He also put the Bonfiglioli inverter prices at around 12 US dollar cents a watt.
He said he preferred imported modules to domestically made ones because megawatt-scale plants, which required thousands of modules, called for consistency in quality. Indian module manufacturers buy cells from different sources abroad and hence such consistency could not be taken for granted, he said.
Saxena was in Chennai to announce the completion of another project — a 1 MW grid-connected rooftop project for a textile company called Alpine Knits (India) Pvt Ltd, which is incidentally one of the five investors in the 20 MW Tiruchi project.
He said this project was unique in as much as it was synchronised with a diesel generator. The Rs 7.5-crore project would be paid back in four years with incomes from ‘renewable energy certificates’, or in six years, if the income was not counted.
Chemtrols used 4,232 Canadian Solar modules of 240 watt each. It also used string inverters of SMA make.
Converting close to 15 per cent of the energy contained in the sunlight falling on it into electricity, the 1 MW plant would generate 1.65 million units of electricity a year.