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

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

Monday, 7 April 2014

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

Solar Energy : Top 3 (Business) Reasons to Go Solar !
[updates of 17th October 2015 below]

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 !

Renewable Energy Breakup in India as per existing installations

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.

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.

Updates of 17th October 2015

Several States have announced a clear Solar policy with several additional benefits. These include (but not limited to) :

  1. Discount of 50% or more on wheeling charges for Solar Power.
  2. 10 year tax holiday on revenue generated from Solar Power.
  3. 100% exemption on Electricity Duty.
  4. 50% Exemption on Stamp Duty for procurement of land for Solar Power.
  5. Lower cost of financing by Govt. bodies with a discount of 2% or more on existing lending rates.
  6. Declaration of Solar Projects under PSL (Priority Sector Lending) sector meaning easier financing options for projects upto 3 MW for businesses and for projects upto 15 kW for individuals.
  7. VGF (Viability Gap Funding) is offered by the Government for projects which are driving the prices in Solar further down.
[Have you checked our latest article on Solar Energy Job & Business Opportunities in India?]

In addition to the plethora of benefits that investing in PV Solar brings based on Government guidelines there are also several private entities (including Enerco Energy Solutions LLP) that carries out 100% financing of Solar Power Projects on BOOT basis. This means you start saving from day 1 of commercial operations of PV Solar project at your site.

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. Investing (upto 100%) and setting up Solar Projects for Industrial and Commercial Clients on BOO or BOOT basis.
  2. Advising Industrial and Commercial Clients on how they could use PV Solar to their benefit.
  3. Development of multi-MW level Solar Park
In case you are interested to know more please feel free to write to us on