SolarQuarter June Issue 2020

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PERSPECTIVE

MEGA-SCALE SOLAR FARMS

VS DECENTRALIZE SOLAR ENERGY WITH BATTERY STORAGE Solar power in India is a fast developing industry. The country's solar installed capacity reached 37.627 GW as of 31 March 2020.India has the lowest capital cost per MW globally to install solar power plants.The Indian government had an initial target of 20 GW capacity for 2022, which was achieved four years ahead of schedule. In 2015 the target was raised to 100 GW of solar capacity (including 40 GW from rooftop solar) by 2022, targeting an investment of US$100 billion. India has established nearly 42 solar parks to make land available to the promoters of solar plants. In a decade ending on 31 March 2020, India expanded its installed solar power capacity by 233 times from 161 MW to 37,627 MW.Rooftop solar power accounts for 2.1 GW, of which 70% is industrial or commercial. In addition to its large-scale gridconnected solar photovoltaic (PV) initiative, India is developing offgrid solar power for local energy needs. Solar products have increasingly helped to meet rural needs; by the end of 2015 just under one million solar lanterns were sold in the country, reducing the need for kerosene. That year, 118,700 solar home lighting systems were installed and 46,655 solar street lighting installations were provided under a national program; just over 1.4 million solar cookers were distributed in India.

Let us analyse from our industries expert the future of solar sector,

SOMESHWER DUTT SHARMA CTO & Head – Solar Projects Sun Renewables

India has shown excellent progress in solar by installation of cumulative capacity of 38. 7 GW which includes ~ 32 GW utility scale ground mount solar PV and 5. 8 GW Roof top solar and 0. 9 GW off grid solar. In the near future, floating solar is going to be another vertical to support the solar industry. Leading organizations i. e NHPC and NTPC ltd are going to take a lead in this vertical. NHPC proposes to develop around 2. 8 GW floating solar on various reservoirs in India. Indian solar industry has implemented the central inverters 500 kW @1000 Vdc to 3. 125 MW @ 1500 Vdc in utility scale solar PV power plants in the last decade. Now Indian utility scale solar industry is moving towards use of string solar inverters due to inherent benefits of high energy yield, reliability, and easy O & M. Govt. of India has started to release tenders on utility scale solar PV power plants with Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) for Round the Clock power supply. Now, it will be an industry trend to develop solar plants or hybrid (solar + Wind) plants with storage.

| JUNE ISSUE 2020

We are also expecting a change in design engineering practise to reduce LCOE by various ways i. e different orientation of PV array for BoS reduction & land requirement or implementing reflectors based on solar optics engineering for enhancement of energy yield in solar PV power plants. PV modules technologies i. e Mono PERC, Bifacial, Heteroj unction etc will be implemented more in future proj ects compared to crystalline technology. Use of advanced technologies like drones, AI & smart IV diagnosis increasing day by day to improve O & M, fault detection and data analytics in utility scale solar PV power proj ects. These technologies are required for large proj ects otherwise it' s difficult to analyse such huge data. Progress on roof top solar has been slow. However, C & I clients are looking to implement solar PV with storage to reduce diesel consumption and supply from BESS during peak load at their premises. C & I clients are looking for economically viable BESS solutions for the scale of around ≤1 MWh to avail benefits of solar plus storage solutions.

PV modules technologies i.e Mono PERC, Bifacial, Heterojunction etc will be implemented more in future projects compared to crystalline technology.

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