Monday, 6 October 2014

Solar Energy PV Project India - FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Solar Energy PV Project India - FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
This article focuses on Solar Energy Projects FAQs which are generally asked by Investors or Customers interested in Solar Energy Project. These FAQs have been collected over a period of 7 years based on Customer feedback, queries, discussions and meetings related to Photo Voltaic (PV) Solar Power in Indian context. This is in continuation to a more basic FAQ list that we released in 2012. Same could be seen here - What is Solar Energy? Solar Energy FAQs

What would happen to our existing power supply system?
PV Solar project is integrated and synchronized with your existing power supply system. This ensures seamless integration and operation. When the Sun is available during the day, Solar system generates maximum possible power and the balance of the power is met through your existing power supply which could be SEB Grid / CPP / D.G. or a combination. A separate metering system indicates the kWh generated from PV Solar.

PV Solar, due to it's inherent nature, works during the daytime. During night time your existing power supply would take over the load requirements, till next morning when the Sun rises and PV Solar starts generating power again. This smooth transition is ensured by an intelligent system in the PCU (Power Conditioning Unit).


Would PV Solar be able to take up all kinds of loads i.e. motor loads, compressors, pumps etc. or only lighting loads?
Since PV Solar is synchronized with your existing power system it can handle any kind of load - subject to appropriate design. Primarily a PV Solar system can cater to 10% to 30% of the total load requirement at a site. This is subject to site conditions and loading pattern. In majority of the cases PV Solar can handle complex motor loads such as Compressors, Pumps etc. in addition to the lighting load.

If however PV Solar system is used for dedicated load such as Pumping applications then PV Solar needs to be appropriately sized and designed to handle the starting current requirement for the pump. There are alternate solutions available as well.


How would PV Solar power generation be impacted by cloudy conditions?
PV Solar works on the principle of photo voltaic effect which relies on light energy of the Sun. The light could be either direct or diffused. The output is maximum when the direct light falls on the PV panels. However some type of PV cells such as thin-film work nearly equally well under diffused light conditions as well.

Depending on the site conditions, locations, radiation details etc. the technology needs to be chosen and then the system needs to be designed inline with these factors. The expected / projected output of a well-designed system will not result in much deviation as all the weather conditions are factored in at design stage.

Can we reduce our demand (kVA / MVA) by going for PV Solar?
PV Solar is generally recommended for a part of your power requirement and not intended to completely replace the existing power supply. Hence depending on loading pattern and site conditions we will generally never replace 100% of your power by PV Solar.

In India many States still do not have net-metering available. In case net-metering is available in your State, we could look at PV Solar as a significant power source. In this case the demand could be reduced.

[Another interesting article - Top 3 Business Reasons to go Solar]

What would happen to generated power from PV Solar during holidays, shutdowns, breakdowns etc.?
PV Solar system would generate power whenever the Sun is available. If for some reason the power is not consumed at site then the same could be used to supply to grid where net-metering is available. Alternatively there could be a conditional PPA with the grid to supply power during such occurrences. If that is also not possible then batteries could be charged up during such days, if available.

What is the typical life of PV Solar project?
The major components in a PV Solar project are PV panels / modules, PCU, Structures, DC / AC Cabling, Electrical Accessories etc.

The heart of the system i.e. PV modules come with a life of 25 to 30 years with appropriate manufacturer warranties in place. PCU has a life of 10 to 15 years with manufacturer warranty with an extension possible. The structures are made from galvanized steel which are known to resist harsh weather conditions.

How do the PV panels perform over a period of time?
The PV modules are subject to harsh weather conditions including extreme heat, rain, snow (in Europe), extreme winter etc.

Considering the above and as per Standard Test Conditions, PV module manufacturers give an output warranty of 90% of rated output for first 15 years and 80% of rated output for the period between 16th year to 25th year. These numbers may however vary from one manufacturer to another but are typically true for Solar Energy projects in India.

If you have any queries with relation to Solar Power Generation, you may post it in the comment section below or mail us on solar@econserve.in

We also execute Solar Energy PV Power Projects with 100% financing i.e. BOO or BOOT basis for Industrial Plants and Commercial Facilities. To know more about Solar BOOT model please visit http://econserve.in/contact_us/solar_energy_boot_model

Monday, 7 April 2014

Solar Energy : Top 3 (Business) Reasons to Go Solar !

Solar Energy : Top 3 (Business) Reasons to Go Solar !

Solar Energy utilization for Power generation from Photo Voltaic is considered by many Investors and Companies for the plethora of benefits it brings. In addition to being truly green, PV Solar also makes for a very strong business case.

This blog post touches upon the Top 3 (Business) Reasons to Go Solar !

Reason # 1 Government Incentives and Subsidies
PV Solar being relatively new to India is encouraged by Central and various State Governments by means of incentives and subsidies. Although with current drop in PV Solar prices and rising cost of grid prices, a PV Solar project can become viable even in the absence of incentives and subsidies.

Solar rooftop projects upto 100 kWp (and now even larger projects) enjoy 30% subsidy from MNRE. This is ideal for Industrial plants who wish to go for a pilot project in PV Solar. The system could be grid-
synchronized for ease of operation and use of Solar Power along with grid power during daytime.

Solar Energy Rooftop PV Solar Project
One of our PV Solar rooftop projects under commissioning
In fact such systems could also be used for motive loads and not just lighting or air-conditioning load. A grid-synchronized system could power pumps, blowers and compressors as well.

[Other interesting article - Solar Project : Execution Stages]

Larger projects such as Solar farms can opt for Preferential Tariff or Feed-in-Tariff which improves revenues through sale of power to DISCOMs. The tariff realization could be as high as INR 7 per kWh.

Alternatively MW-level offsite Solar projects could also be used to power Industrial plants. Direct benefit in terms of saving on grid power is attractive.

Reason # 2 Tax Benefits (including 80% Accelerated Depreciation)
For existing businesses investment in PV Solar makes commercial sense due to the 80% accelerated depreciation benefit. The RoE for such projects is very quick as these projects are financed by leading banks.

Additionally 10 year tax holiday on revenue through sale of Solar power is also available. Some States have also relaxed the cross-subsidy and electricity duty on Solar power both for captive projects as well as open access projects.

While Central Government has reduced import duty on certain equipment, some States are offering waivers (around 50%) on Stamp Duty for setting up ground-mounted Solar Projects.

Reason # 3 Long-term gains
Whether the Solar project is installed for captive consumption or for feeding to grid it comes with long-term benefits.

[Other article you may find interesting - Solar Energy FAQs]

In case of captive consumption, it is important to note that the grid power prices are rising and will continue to rise for a long time to come. As compared to this Solar project has an upfront cost and no running cost. In fact if a 100 kWp project cost is amortized over a period of 10 years simple cost of power generation works out to be INR 5 per kWh. This simply means that in its useful life of 25 years a PV Solar project will payback itself several times as cost of generation is nearly zero after the initial investment is recovered.

For a grid-feed project of multi-MW level Power Purchase Agreement could be signed for 25 years. In fact this is the only business wherein a buyer agreement is available for a very long tenure. The multi-fold appreciation in land value (where the project has been installed) is a definite advantage over and above the usual benefits.

Enerco Energy Solutions LLP has set up several PV Solar projects across India and also worked with leading Cos. on matters of Energy Conservation and Solar Power. 

In Solar our present focus is on
  1. Setting up Solar Energy Photo Voltaic Projects for Industrial and Commercial Clients on EPC Basis.
  2. Investing (upto 100%) and setting up Solar Projects for Industrial and Commercial Clients on BOO or BOOT basis.
  3. Development of multi-MW level Solar Park
In case you are interested to know more please feel free to write to us on solar@econserve.in

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Solar Energy - Is your site ready?

Solar Energy utilization for captive power proves to be the solution of choice, especially for Industrial Plants looking to utilize their rooftop spaces and additional land area for PV panel installation. Sometime back we published our Report on Solar Energy for Industrial Plants which talked about Solar Power solutions for Industries. Industrial and Commercial facilities should look at PV Solar as a viable option not only for cost saving but also as a step towards sustainability.

It is imperative to know the various aspects of PV Solar Power Project before the project is executed. There are various important stages of execution starting with the first and foremost PV Solar Site Assessment. These stages are as per Globally accepted norms of the Industry and results in an efficiently engineered system which ensures optimum output. Here we focus on the activities covered in the Solar Site Assessment and they are -

A. Site Study
B. Training and Discussions
C. Feasibility cum Viability Report

A. Site Study

Site Study covers visit to the various rooftops and adjoining land areas to get a first-hand view of the proposed sites.
  1. Structural Analysis
  2. Capacity Estimation
  3. Solar Radiation Measurement
  4. PV Technology Selection*
  5. Location Weather Conditions
  6. Site challenges
  7. Solution customization
* There are various PV technologies and the site needs to be understood before best-suited technology is recommended.


B. Training and Discussions

While a site visit is carried out for the above a detailed face to face discussion takes place with the key management and plant personnel. Our widely acclaimed and detailed training programme on Solar Energy ensures maximum benefits to the plant or Company we visit.

Additionally Solar Power projects are very well supported by Central and various States Governments in the form of subsidies and incentives - discussion about which are covered during the training as well as consecutive discussions held thereafter.

While this stage prepares the site for Solar Project execution and also prepares all the key people in getting further clarity on PV Solar in the following areas :
  1. Technology : Site Study + in depth understanding of PV Solar
  2. Policy : Various Government incentives and subsidies
  3. Commercial : Investment and RoI

C. Feasibility cum Viability Report

A detailed report submitted at the end of the exercise captures all the important points of the proposed projects for both roof and ground-mounted systems highlighting their benefits along with the RoI and cash-flow projections under various scenarios. This enables one to select the most viable projects based on the business priorities.

Basic engineering solution of each of the identified project along with key components is also covered in the report. The report also covers next steps of execution along with a plan and schedule for the same.

If you wish to arrange a visit to your site and know more please drop us a mail on solar@econserve.in

Enerco Energy Solutions LLP has been at the forefront of advising Industrial Clients on Solar Power utilization and execution of Projects. We have worked with Clients including Reliance Group, Emami Group, Essar Group, Aditya Birla Group, JSW Steel, CEAT Tyres etc. and International Clients of repute as well.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Solar Energy Training

Solar Energy in India has just started to take-off. It is expected that due to the various advantages that PV Solar offers, it will far surpass Wind energy in the Country. With a boost by the Government in 2009 / 10 under Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Mission, Solar Energy is all set to take the center stage for a long time to come.

Although PV Solar is already quite competitive and in most certain cases PV Solar Projects can become financially viable even in the absence of subsidies. Industrial plants and commercial facilities in several states are paying a very high price for power - INR 7.0 per kWh and above. In any case PV Solar makes tremendous sense for replacement of D.G. sets which run during the day.

For an individual or corporate it is necessary to keep itself abreast of the latest in PV Solar technology. Our Solar Energy training imparted as part of Solar Energy Audit or separately will help in getting complete information about the same. Solar Energy Audit forms the first phase of execution of a PV Solar Power Project.

Solar Energy Training by our experts consists of (but not limited to)

  1. Power Scenario in India
  2. Renewable Power Scenario in India
  3. Solar Energy - General Principles of Solar Thermal and Solar PV
  4. Solar PV - Techincal Details including comparative analysis
  5. PV Solar Project - Key Components and Basic Engineering
  6. Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Mission (JNNSM)
  7. Various Subsidies and Incentives by Central and State Govt.
  8. Global PV outlook and major installations
  9. Upcoming Technologies
  10. Any other topic
To know more please contact us - solar@econserve.in with subject "Solar Training"

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Solar Energy Power Project : Execution Stages

Solar Energy Power Projects using Photo Voltaic (PV) technology is gathering momentum in India due to deeper penetration in understanding of the Technology, Commercials and supporting Government policies. Of course improved affordability due to fall in PV module costs is another major factor fueling the momentum. In fact as observed earlier - PV Solar Power has the potential to exceed Wind Power in terms of generation.

Industrial plants and Commercial Facilities opt for PV Solar Project due to several reasons. The most significant ones include –
  • Ever-increasing price of grid power (anything above INR 5.0 per kWh for grid power can be considered expensive)
  • Availability of good rooftop space
  • Excellent subsidies and incentives for captive projects
  • Long and maintenance-free life of the installation
Details of the same are also included in our generic Solar Energy Industrial Report.

PV Solar Power Project execution consists of various stages as depicted below


Solar Energy Power Project : Execution Stages
Solar Energy Power Project : Execution Stages


The Pre-Project Stage consists of site visit by a Solar Expert for Site Survey + Analysis + Techno-Commercial Viability Report Preparation. It is the most important stage of a PV Solar project as it enables one to understand complete Techno-Commercials of the Project primarily the RoI and IRR calculations which form the basis of the investment decisions.

We also include Solar Energy Training as part of this first stage which enables one to get answers to various queries such as :
  1. Is my plant suitably located to generate Solar Power?
  2. What capacity installation is possible at my site?
  3. Are there any technical challenges in PV Solar project execution at my site?
  4. What are the major technical components in the project and what is their life?
  5. How many units (kWh) per day, per month, per year can I expect from PV Solar?
  6. What is RPO Obligation?
  7. What are the various Government subsidies and incentives and which is the best for my projects?
  8. What is the investment required for the projects at my site?
  9. What is the RoI and IRR of the identified projects?
  10. What are various technologies and what is the most suitable technology for my site in terms of output and durability?
  11. What are the short, medium and long-term REC (Renewable Energy Certificate) benefits?
  12. What kind of loads can Solar support in my plant and what part of such load should I focus on for PV Solar?
  13. Will these projects be grid-synchronized or will these projects require batteries?
And More....

Several such questions are answered through our onsite discussions with your team and also in our Detailed Techno-Commercial Viability Report submitted at the end of Pre-Project stage. This Report forms the basis of an informed decision and is thus no wonder that several leading Industrial Plants are opting for PV Solar Power Project beginning with the first step of Pre-Project assessment. In consecutive posts we will update the information about the next stages.

If your plant or commercial site is paying anything above INR 5.0 per kWh for power it makes tremendous sense to opt for PV Solar power for at least a part of your requirement. 


Enerco Energy Solutions LLP is a leading Consulting and Advisory Company in PV Solar and Energy Optimization with Clients such as :
Solar Energy Clients of Enerco

And More.....

Monday, 11 February 2013

Solar Energy Capacity to exceed Wind Energy?

Primary Renewable Energy sources in India are Wind, Biomass, Small Hydro and Solar. By installed capacity - Wind Energy dominates the RE space with nearly 18,000 MW (18 GW) of installed capacity.
Distant second is Small Hydro and Biomass with around 3 GW of installed capacity each. Solar Energy - which has just started picking up - is just over 1 GW.

Renewable Energy - Solar Energy, Wind Energy Installed Capacity Breakup
Fig. 1 - Renewable Energy - % Breakup in India 
as on Dec 2012

Solar Energy usage for power generation started in 2011 - nearly 20 years after the use of Wind Energy. Moreover Wind Energy was supported with several incentives and benefits including tax breaks. It is therefore natural for Wind Energy to lead the pack of RE in India. In fact Solar power is also supported by various incentives and subsidies - in fact more than wind. But interestingly quick penetration / adaption of Solar power, technology improvements and high demand has resulted in significant reduction in cost of power generation from PV Solar. One of our other posts stresses on the fact that PV Solar power project can also become financially viable even in the absence of subsidies and incentives.

While it has taken Wind Energy around 20 years to reach about 18 GW it has taken Solar Energy less than 2 years to reach a cumulative figure exceeding 1 GW. There are reasons for strong growth of Solar Energy in India and there is no doubt that further growth will be exponential. In fact capacity-wise PV Solar Power generation will  far exceed that of Wind Energy in the years to come because :
  1. Solar radiation across 85% Country can be termed as good to excellent and hence majority of Country is ideal for use of Solar Energy. As compared to this Wind Energy can only be used in around 30% of the Country as per CWET.
  2. Cost - which plays a major factor in deciding the success of a RE - is a bit higher for PV Solar. However the cost of power generation from PV Solar has come down significantly in recent times and now the cost of generating PV Solar power is almost at par with that of wind. With advancement in technology and opening up of new markets cost of power generation from PV Solar will continue to come down and PV will perhaps achieve absolute grid parity in India by 2014/15. 
  3. Life of a PV Solar project is around 25 to 30 years with appropriate warranties for major components in place. Moreover the wear and tear is very low as in a static PV Solar system there are no moving parts. This far outweighs the Wind energy which has moving parts and requires periodic maintenance as well - not to mention the loss in output due to maintenance. PV Solar is a fit-and-forget system with upfront Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) and ZERO Operational Expenditure (OPEX).
  4. Solar PV is highly modular and easily scalable and installations can be as small as sub-kW level as well. Smallest wind turbines are in kW level. Hence PV Solar is the most ideal for decentralized power for home use. For a Country like India which has one of the highest T&D (aka ATC) losses decentralized power will prove to be a game-changer. PV Solar will thus prove a boon for areas where grid has not yet reached.
  5. PV Solar is the most ideal for captive use for Industrial Plants especially in States like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh etc. where per cost of power (per kWh) is around INR 6.0 to INR 8.0.  It may not be suitable for these plants to go for smaller wind turbines due to maintenance and other issues. More about PV Solar's suitability for Industrial Plants can be seen in our FREE Solar Energy Report.
Once the above benefits and facts are commonly known among the masses PV Solar will gain popularity and  hence result in rampant use of PV Solar at all levels. In this post we have given detailed comparison between Wind and Solar. However it is a known fact that PV Solar scores over other Renewable Energy Technologies as well as can be seen here - How and Why PV Solar scores over other Renew Techs?


Sunday, 2 December 2012

Solar Power - 30% Subsidy in India

Photo Voltaic Solar Power - although considered quite expensive is actually becoming practical and viable with falling prices in cost of generation. This is mainly attributed to the significant cost in fall of PV Modules - which form a significant component of the project cost. There are various stages of a Solar Energy Power Project.

Considering the potential of PV Solar for a power deficit and Solar-rich country like India the Government has announced various subsidies and incentives in order to make the project viable. However a PV Solar Power Project can become viable even in the absence of subsidies (Can a Solar Project become financially viable without subsidies / incentives?). Mainly for Industrial Plants which are already facing a high power price (which directly impacts the cost of production) with majority of the plants opting for a D.G. Set for regular use.

Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) announced in 2009 is one of the 8 missions part of National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC). Interestingly in 2009 the cost of generation from PV Solar was significantly higher (nearly twice of what it is today). Moreover the same was also very high as compared to grid power price. In 2012 nearly all the States in India have significantly hiked the power price ranging from 4% to 15%. It is anyone's guess that Solar Power will play a significant role in the Power Scenario of India.

(Suggested Reading - Is Solar the answer to India's Power Problems?)

Additionally in the present context owing to rise in deficit in electrical power, unreliable power supply in major parts of the Country, issues in Coal supply (recently some of the TPPs had critically low coal stock of less than a week) there is a rising interest in Solar Power. This interest is boosted by the fact that power generation from Solar enjoys several financial benefits - which no other technology enjoys in India.

Solar Energy Power Project
One of our recently executed PV Solar Projects in Mumbai under MNRE 30% Subsidy Scheme


The incentives and subsidies for a PV Solar Power Project are of various kinds and depend on factors such as -
  • Size of the Project.
  • Location of the Project.
  • Type of Project (Captive Consumption / Grid-Feed / Off-Grid etc.).
Although the type of incentives could be dynamic i.e. benefits achieved over a period of time or could be static i.e. one-time upfront subsidy received from the Government. The other incentives - although much more beneficial - are quite complex to be covered here. The same is generally covered as part of our comprehensive report prepared for a Client. The Project IRR in such cases is in the range of 16% to 20% and Equity IRR is 80% and above. To know more please send a mail to solar@econserve.in

(Suggested Reading - Solar Energy Report - FREE - including link to receive the Report !)

The simplest form of subsidy is 30% capital subsidy by MNRE.

Following are the basic MNRE guidelines for this -
  1. Project should not exceed 100 kWp installation (single location).
  2. Project could be off-grid or grid-synchronized.
  3. Power cannot be fed to the grid i.e. it has to be for captive consumption only.
  4. Battery backup is optional. The subsidy for projects with and without battery is different - MNRE adjusts subsidy amount for higher project cost due to battery.
  5. Project should be preferably executed by MNRE empanelled vendor.
Our Group is an empanelled MNRE vendor for execution of such projects and availing 30% subsidy directly from MNRE. Contact us to know more or you can directly drop a mail to solar@econserve.in