Suzlon to focus on wind-solar hybrid model

A combination of both is required for optimum utilisation of grid infrastructure

By Author   |   Published: 26th Feb 2017   10:35 am Updated: 26th Feb 2017   10:39 am
Suzlon

Hyderabad: Wind energy turbine manufacturer Suzlon Energy is present in all nine wind rich States with over 14 manufacturing facilities in the country. The company is the largest operations and maintenance (O&M) service provider in the Indian renewable sector with 10 GW of assets installed is under its management. It is ranked fourth in terms of entire power sector-renewables and conventional. Its current order book stands at 1,231MW valued at Rs 7,523 crores spread across various wind States. The company is keen to explore the hybrid model combining the strengths of both wind and solar.

Tulsi Tanti, chairman and managing director, Suzlon Group, told Telangana Today, “One must understand that wind and solar energy do not compete and rather complement each other. Solar in India is in addition to wind and not a substitute. Both technologies are required for ensuring the energy security of the country and to bring down the levelised cost of energy (LCoE).”

Complementary role
Due to complementary generation profile of wind and solar, a combination of both the technology is required even from optimum utilisation of grid infrastructure. Wind is already at grid-parity and with over 28 GW installations, it is a proven and mature technology. Central government has set individual targets for Wind and Solar. The target is the same for both, wind and solar at 60 GW with an additional 40 GW in solar coming from rooftop installations. Wind employs over two million individuals in the manufacturing and projects side of the business.

He said, “India has exported wind products and technologies to over 30 countries, so the sector itself is truly ‘Make in India’ not only for domestic market but also for the export market. You must appreciate that no other Asian country has achieved this feat in wind and the products are predominantly sold in the developed markets, like the US and Europe. There is a huge opportunity in wind-solar hybrid solutions given the complementary cycles of generation and the better utilisation of the installed infrastructure. However, a dedicated policy for hybrid is still awaited and is shortly expected to be rolled out.”

Power sector
On the power industry patterns, Tanti says, “Growth in conventional is almost stalled, with limited new capacity addition, whereas renewables are on strong growth trajectory. With sustained profitability and increased momentum, our rankings in overall power sector is also bound to improve.”

Suzlon has been making rotor blades, a key component in the wind turbines. The company’s current capacity of rotor blades stands at over 4,000 MW per annum. It has commissioned three manufacturing units one each in Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan in the last year. These units produce the next generation of its 2.1 MW turbine S111, with rotor diameter of 111 meter. This turbine has a 120 m tower and 111 m rotor which gives good energy production and 30 per cent plant load factor. It has already invested Rs 200 crore for setting up manufacturing facilities in these States.

“The company’s S111- 120 prototype is now in completion stage of one year of testing and has already delivered 37 per cent to 38 per cent PLF. The product is likely to cross the 40 per cent PLF. The S111 (2.1MW) turbine prototype has been successfully tested in India and USA. In India it is amongst the few in its class to have the largest rotor diameter spanning 111.8 meter.

Touted to be a potential game-changer in the industry with increased energy production by nearly 20 per cent, S111 is one of the highest yielding International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC Class) III wind turbine,” Tulsi Tanti informed.

Telangana focus
Predominantly a wind power company, Suzlon has also tasted success in solar across the country. The company has also recently completed 49 per cent of disinvestment in 210 MW in Telangana. He said, “We build, sell products and maintain projects, which has been our business model from the beginning. In respect of solar projects, the idea was to gain experience in end-to-end turnkey solution offerings.”

“Going forward our focus would remain on wind-solar hybrid offerings and will continue to divest from our solar portfolio. Telangana continues to be a key market for us and we will continue to bring further investments to strengthen the State’s objective of achieving it’s renewable,” he added.

Financials
J P Chalasani, Group CEO, Suzlon, said, “Q3 FY17 revenues are up by 76 per cent on a YoY basis and we are confident of maintaining the growth momentum with strong focus on posting sustainable profits. We continue to drive technology innovation in our industry and have introduced next generation turbines which will bring down the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE). Wind-solar hybrid solutions is the next strong growth opportunity for Suzlon.”

“We are focused on ramping up volumes by executing our strong order book, at the same time ensuring that we continue to maintain tight control on our working capital and fixed costs. We are also adequately capitalised to deliver high volume for the forthcoming quarters and will continue to post sustainable profits.” Kirti Vagadia, Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Suzlon, said.