GCLSI to supply SAEL with 1.1GW of n-type solar modules

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Jasbir Singh Awla, SAEL managing director (left) and Zhang Kun, GCLSI executive president, announce the 1.1GW module supply deal. Image: GCLSI

Chinese energy company GCL System Integration (GCLSI) has agreed to supply 1.1GW of n-type solar modules to Indian renewable firm SAEL Industries.

The news follows GCLSI’s commissioning of 10GW of module production capacity at its new manufacturing facility in Wuhu, China, and this is the first supply deal announced following the start of production. While neither GCLSI nor SAEL announced financial details of the deal, the latter company plans to add 2GW of ground-mounted solar capacity in India each year, and this arrangement will help SAEL reach its targets.

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“This is the beginning of a long-term relationship between GCLSI and SAEL,” said Zhang Kun, GCLSI executive president. “I feel that with the signing of this agreement, GCLSI has taken a step further towards becoming the market leader in the PV module industry.”

The deal could significantly alter SAEL’s solar portfolio, with the company currently operating 227.6MW of solar capacity in India and Ghana. The majority of this is at a single ground-mounted facility operated with Seamless Energy Ghana, and the company’s largest facility in India has a capacity of just 24MW, raising questions about how and where the GCLSI panels will be deployed.

Deals such as these could help India meet its ambitious renewable power targets, with the government aiming to expand its total renewable energy capacity to 125GW by 2030.

However, questions have been raised as to the importance of decarbonisation to the government, with India setting a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2070, later than many other countries. Figures from the government’s Central Electricity Authority (CEA) also found that India added 13.9GW of new solar capacity in the 2022 financial year, well below the target of 40GW of annual capacity addition needed to meet its long-term energy targets.

There is encouraging news for the solar sector in particular, however, with solar capacity accounting for 43% of India’s renewable power capacity, according to the CEA. This is the most of any single power source, ahead of wind in second place, with 40.2% of renewable capacity.

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